Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Fruit Flies - ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!

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Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Aug 8, 2017 6:14 PM CST

Moderator

How do get rid of those d*****d, insidious fruit flies? Grumbling

Cider vinegar doesn't work.

Keeping everything in the refrigerator doesn't work.

Fly paper is of limited success.

H E L P ! ! !
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Aug 8, 2017 6:47 PM CST
Are you sure they're fruit flies and not fungus gnats?
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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ViburnumValley
Aug 8, 2017 9:47 PM CST
Discerning fruit flies prefer a pretentious red blend of Rhone origin...
John
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
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plantmanager
Aug 8, 2017 9:52 PM CST
I'm with Susan. I'm betting they are fungus gnats. If so, figure out what plant they are coming from. It is normally a plant being kept too wet. Re pot it in new soil, and let dry before you water.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Aug 9, 2017 5:43 AM CST
I've been lucky so far, my compost scraps are moving fast to the back of the yard where I grow plenty of gnats for the birds. Houseplants are all outside. Tomatoes on the counter I am watching like a hawk because Mark is no fan of fruit flies.
So Rick, what are possible sources?

..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Aug 9, 2017 6:02 AM CST

Moderator

Definitely inside.

I've washed down the surfaces in the kitchen. All of the fruit and produce is in the refrigerator. I even washed all of the potatoes off! I ended up putting my dried figs in the freezer as the flies were starting to hover.

I tried the apple cider vinegar, but that had no effect. I guess I'll try some red wine next.

I changed the fly paper last evening and had all of 12 of the little suckers on there this morning.

Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Aug 9, 2017 8:30 AM CST
Viburnum Valley is right: apparently fruit flies prefer red wine. I just found a tip that suggested creating a trap by stretching Saran Wrap across a container holding wine, then poking a few small holes in it so they can fly in.
Bottles or cans of beer also apparently make good traps.

The good news is that they don't live long, so you probably won't have them around much longer.
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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ViburnumValley
Aug 10, 2017 9:12 PM CST
Now, let's refine the pesticidal viniferous attractants.

I'm not a fan of using my favs from west coast travels, but I'm never afraid to employ the "two buck chuck" varietals.

Rate your success here...
John
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Aug 11, 2017 8:18 AM CST
I wonder what type of wine or other spirits small black ants prefer? They've been circling my kitchen sink area for weeks. I've tried traps with real poison, borax on the window sill where I think they're entering, and I've put lots of diatomaceous earth on the outside sill.
Name: Archivesgirl
Salisbury, MD (Zone 7b)
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Archivesgirl
Aug 11, 2017 3:52 PM CST
Here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland we use apple cider vinegar BUT that won't do it alone. You have to add a drop of so of liquid dishwashing detergent. Put it in an empty jelly jar. I put a Melita coffee filter wrapped over the top of the jar with a hole in the center of it and then rubber band it on the jar. I keep it in the window sill in the kitchen. Here are a few pics. Good luck, they are a nuisance. Sighing!

Gayle


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Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Aug 11, 2017 4:35 PM CST

Moderator

Yeah, the cider vinegar didn't work.

BUT, the black cherry wine sure did! Larry wasn't too thrilled that I was using the wine, but when we saw how many flies it took out, he didn't mind so much.
Name: Archivesgirl
Salisbury, MD (Zone 7b)
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Region: Maryland Birds
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Archivesgirl
Aug 11, 2017 4:48 PM CST
Rick,
Those fruit flies have good taste! nodding The trick with cider vinegar is that it has to have dishwashing detergent in it. I take it you aren't used to fruit flies? Every year we get them here on the shore and we get sugar ants, too. Thumbs down Grumbling

Next those fruit flies will be asking for some fine cheeses to be served, also. Big Grin

Glad that's over.

Gayle
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
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Muddy1
Aug 11, 2017 7:08 PM CST
Does the cider vinegar/dish detergent solution attract sugar ants?
Name: Archivesgirl
Salisbury, MD (Zone 7b)
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Region: Maryland Birds
Frogs and Toads
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Archivesgirl
Aug 12, 2017 6:39 AM CST
@Muddy1, Susan,
No the solution doesn't attract the ants. The sugar ants come inside from the outside. I don't think anyone is exempt from them on the Eastern Shore. We use Terro liquid ant bait traps (small package that you set on the counter (I put cardboard over them with a small opening so my cats can't get to them, only the ants). They are filled with a sweet liquid that attracts the ants and after feeding on it they take it back to their Queen and the colony is killed. Terro also makes ant bait in stakes to put into the ground outdoors with you have a lot of ants (around the house foundation or where you see a lot of ant hills in the yard).

So the fruit flies seem to come at a different time in the spring and then the ants hit in the summer and fall but the jar of cider vinegar +liquid dish detergent hasn't attracted ants in our home. I really like the ant baits because they are small individual packages that you just open the end (it's syrupy) and the ants all go to it and then leave the house to go back to the nest.

Gayle
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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sallyg
Aug 12, 2017 6:57 AM CST
Terro products work very well. I have three different versions here to suit any whim and situation. We used to have ant problems but they are rare since using Terro inside or outside where we see ants.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Echinacea Composter Foliage Fan Hummingbirder Bee Lover
Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Critters Allowed Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Dragonflies
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Muddy1
Aug 12, 2017 7:58 AM CST
Thanks, Gayle and Sally. I'm cautiously optimistic that the Hot Shot bait traps are finally working because I don't see any ants this morning, but I'll keep Terro in mind if they return.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Aug 12, 2017 6:57 PM CST

Moderator

I did put a couple of drops into the vinegar to break the surface tension. Still didn't work. The wine, on the other hand started working within 15 minutes! Between that and the fly paper strips, we're just about done with the little bast**ds!
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Echinacea Composter Foliage Fan Hummingbirder Bee Lover
Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Critters Allowed Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Dragonflies
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Muddy1
Aug 12, 2017 8:20 PM CST
That's good news Thumbs up
I never would have thought of using red wine.
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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ViburnumValley
Aug 12, 2017 8:27 PM CST
You probably have never left red wine idling in a glass long enough - or maybe don't partake as often as some.

Life lessons...

Glad Rick is resolving this annoying issue.
John
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Echinacea Composter Foliage Fan Hummingbirder Bee Lover
Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Critters Allowed Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Dragonflies
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Muddy1
Aug 13, 2017 8:34 AM CST
I'm a Sauvignon Blanc fan myself, and neither my glass nor those of red wine drinkers around me stay idle for long Smiling

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