Dumb Cane Plant and Houseflies - Knowledgebase Question

Roseville, Mi
Question by lizeisler
October 5, 2009
I recently returned from a brief vacation to find my clean house full of houseflies. I could not find the culprit until I moved my dumb cane house plant. Upon moving it, a ton of house flies swarmed out at me. Any ideas or suggestions? I can't seem to get rid of them!


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Answer from NGA
October 5, 2009

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Are they houseflies or fruit flies? I'm guessing fruit flies. Fruit flies can be quite annoying! Once they come indoors they're difficult to eradicate unless you remove all of their sources of food and water. Fruit flies are attracted to decaying organic debris such as potting soil. Fruit flies are so tiny that they can live indoors simply by feeding on the miniscule amouts of food left in your kitchen sink. This is especially true if you have a garbage disposal. The most important thing you can do is remove fresh produce from open areas like kitchen counters. If you refrigerate all fruits and vegetables, you'll eliminate a major source of food for the fruit flies, plus you'll slow the decompostion and soft-rots that develop on overripe produce. To trap the fruit flies, take an empty wide-mouth jar and put 2-3 inches of vinegar in the bottom. Then make a funnel out of paper to stick in the top of the jar. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar odor and will crawl in, but won't be able to get back out through the small hole in the funnel. Eventually they'll drown. To control them in the soil of your dumbcane plant, use a soil drench such as gnatrol or insecticidal soap. Either will kill the eggs and larvae in the soil. Or, repot the plant in fresh potting soil (I'd do it outdoors!!)

Hope this helps.

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