Fruit/phorid flies or gnats swarming

DavidAugustus62

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
NY
Hi friends!
I am the proud caretaker and roommate of two red-footed tortoises (one a regular one, the other a cherry head). I bought them as "well started babies" in September 2020 from a well-known breeder, and have housed them for the last year or so in a Zoo Med Tortoise House. I use ReptiBark (or fir or cypress mulch) and some coconut fiber as a substrate, and have also introduced colonies of isopods and springtails to keep it clean.
The problem is that the fruit/phorid fly problem has become out of control because now they are not only swarming out of the substrate, but they have found their way to my kitchen. I put up fly paper, and it works, but they never go away. I have set traps with apple cider vinegar all around (even sometimes in the enclosure), but there they are. There are so many of them that I am embarrassed to have people come over for fear that when I pick the tortoises up to show them, the swarm will gross the guests out.
I have read the other posts on fly problems, but it seems I really have a bad situation because I live in an apartment.
I have tried changing the substrate, which winds up not getting rid of all of them;ven the isopods and springtails manage to survive. The flies must lay eggs on the wood.
I was thinking of putting Leonardo and Donatella (the cherry head) in a tank, and changing the substrate more often, but I don't know if that will work, either.
Any suggestions?
Thanks so much,
David
 

crimson_lotus

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
1,361
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
can you show a picture of your enclosure? is the wood treated or coated with anything? open top?
 

DavidAugustus62

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
NY
Hi there,
I hope you can see the images. I'm having trouble loading them. It's untreated wood, and I leave the top open on the main enclosure. The smaller part of the cage has the top down so that the babies can have all the shade they want.



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crimson_lotus

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
1,361
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
you could try changing the substrate to orchid bark or coco coir. I would also suggest lining the wood with something like a shower curtain for now to keep the wood from rotting/molding. redfoots need a more closed chamber so if you could cover the bars to keep heat and humidity in that would be best.

do you have anything in there to read the temperature and humidity level?
 
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