Flies?

Emily Deshar

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So I bought a bag of soil with no fertilizers and now I have fruit flies.. I think it' fruit flies.. They are tiny little black flies. Are they bad? Do they hurt my hatchlings? I also have tons of springtails, teeny tiny white things that don't fly and are always on her food slate.. I can put pictures of each later. How do I get rid of them? Should I just go back to coco choir from pet smart? Never had those issues with that. Plan on adding worms and rolly pollies this spring/summer.
Thanks in advance
 

wellington

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The flies are only a pain to us. They don't bother anything else. The coconut coir will do the same thing over time. All is lessened if backed or boiled but they still eventually come back.
 

Walter21

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I had the same issue about a month ago they were starting to get in other areas of my house then just his enclosure so I bought those sticky fly traps you put on the window and caught hundreds! I finally decided to change out his dirt and disinfect his enclosure and I haven’t had any issues with this new bag.

My suggestion remove all the dirt, clean the enclosure really well then replace with new dirt.
I hope this helps!
 

Tom

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The little black ones are most likely Phorid flies. Like the springtails, they are harmless detrivores and won't harm your tortoise babies in any way.

They don't come from the substrate. They come from the environment and move into the substrate in our enclosures because it is warm and damp with good food for them. If you don't like them and can't tolerate them, you will have to boil, bake, freeze or replace your substrate every two weeks or so.

Personally, I just ignore them. They often have a large population bloom at first, but then things "normalize" and their numbers drop significantly.
 

Emily Deshar

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The little black ones are most likely Phorid flies. Like the springtails, they are harmless detrivores and won't harm your tortoise babies in any way.

They don't come from the substrate. They come from the environment and move into the substrate in our enclosures because it is warm and damp with good food for them. If you don't like them and can't tolerate them, you will have to boil, bake, freeze or replace your substrate every two weeks or so.

Personally, I just ignore them. They often have a large population bloom at first, but then things "normalize" and their numbers drop significantly.

Oh ok. They don' bother me, I just wanted to make sure that they are not hurting my baby in any way. Thanks. I' gonna be adding more bugs once it' spring and I can find them in my garden.
 

Beasty_Artemis

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Hmmm, the tape isn't too bad a plan....!
I usually just squish them with my finger whenever I spot an individual anymore. The little things don't try very hard to escape.
 

waretrop

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Well, those bugs wouldn't live in my house with my pets. I would get rid of all that stuff and buy new soil. If you ever have a fruit fly or fungus gnat problem I can give you an answer for them but not the other things.

For fungus gnats, cider vinegar in one small glass and for fruit flies, smashed bananas in small glass in water. Saran warp over the top, taped or rubber banded around the lip. Poke holes, the size of lead to a pencil, in the Saran wrap and set somewhere off the side. They will crawl into the holes and not be able to get out and drown.

r gnats.jpg

You can put these glasses around the outside of your environment. It takes a while but it really does work without harming your pet. As new flies hatch they will be attracted to your glass and not lay eggs in your environment.

So bringing fruit into your house will bring fruit flies in. Wash every fruit, especially bananas, coming into your house to eliminate the problem in the future. What you probably have is fungus gnats which live on excess decomposing organic matter along with too much moisture. Dry storage will eliminate this problem.

All these other bugs love moisture also. I suspect the store kept the product in a moist condition or you may have. It's the only way you could get all 4 kind of beings in that soil.

It's better to protect your self rather than rid yourself of such beings....for sure....I can tell you this because I have experienced these bugs personally, both in my greenhouse, frog tanks, and my pantry in my house....YUCK....

Hope this helps you and others that search little flies....
 

Reptilian Feline

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I make a mix of dry yeast, honey, vinegar and some washing up liquid in a sauser, and add hot water to the rim. Flies do drown, but some get away. I like the idea with saran wrap and a glass. I'll try that and see if it improves the catch rate.
 

waretrop

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@Reptilian Feline , it will probably be slower but it doesn't need to be changed o cleaned for a long time. Catches 100's of them. I keep them in my pantry year round. I keep bananas in there and they always have the eggs on thwm. Even if I wash them I can't get all the eggs...
 

CatsinQ

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I do vermiculture (compost with worms) and the fruit fly and springtail problems are common. Killing the flies with tape or however you want to do it will work if you are diligent and don't leave any left alive. For the springtails - this is going to sound gross, and it is very labor intensive, but what I have done is take all the infected soil and dump it in a bucket with a lot of hot water. The springtails float to the top and I scooped them out with a wire mesh strainer and just kept stirring the mud until I got them all. Spread the mud out to dry - turns back into dirt and back into the compost it went. (Well, in my case, most of it went into the garden... but you get the idea.) I basically use my turtle enclosure as an indoor compost right now with worms (he ate all the roly polies) and have neither of those problems, so read up a little on vermiculture - I think that will help.
 

Yvonne G

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When I read this thread I looked in my junk drawer and saw I have several of the fly tapes. So I put one in my Christmas Tree Storage bin with the baby CDT, one in the covered bin with the baby leopards, then tried to put one in with the baby box turtles. What a mess. The stupid tape stuck to my hand. It stuck to the plastic that covers the bin. It stuck to the plastic plant inside the bin. Thank goodness the baby box turtles were all buried or the man-eating tape would have stuck to them too. Trouble is, their bin has the worst gnat problem. I really need to figure out a way to hang a tape in there.
 

Anyfoot

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When I read this thread I looked in my junk drawer and saw I have several of the fly tapes. So I put one in my Christmas Tree Storage bin with the baby CDT, one in the covered bin with the baby leopards, then tried to put one in with the baby box turtles. What a mess. The stupid tape stuck to my hand. It stuck to the plastic that covers the bin. It stuck to the plastic plant inside the bin. Thank goodness the baby box turtles were all buried or the man-eating tape would have stuck to them too. Trouble is, their bin has the worst gnat problem. I really need to figure out a way to hang a tape in there.
Been there Yvonne. What I did in my vivarium was hang each end with a drawing pin stuck in the wood. So it drooped down a bit, but not low enough for torts to reach. It is messy but it's the nature of the beast.
Merry xmas Yvonne
 

MountainFox

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I’m not sure of your enclosure setups, but you can place a piece of packing tape, sticky side down, across the top of the enclosure. The tape might be a bit in the way, but at least it’s the smooth side facing you (and is unlikely to catch too many Yvonnes with the flies). You could also just use packing/regular tape to secure the ends fly tape to the lid or wall. It becomes a one-sided fly attack, but one side is better than none!
 

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