Pesky Flies

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vickyb

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I have these pesky little flies in my enclosure that look VERY similar to fruit flies and whenever I mist the substrate, they pop up.

Any ideas what I can do WITHOUT having to change my substrate? Can I spray something like a light bleach solution? Not sure

Thanks

Vicky
 

vickyb

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Because I am actually growing plants in her enclosure that I dont want to disturb :(
 

Meg90

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They are susbstrate mites. Boiling water and dumping it over the substrate should kill them, as freezing might. But I suppose you don't wanna do that because of the new plants. They are not normal fruit flies, but you could try some of those remedies.

Don't spray any chemicals around your tortoise. Its not safe.
 

dreadyA

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Also try using a container and mash up banana, something sweet like nectar. Place it near the enclosure and it will entice them. When you see a couple or more of them in container,quickly place the lid back on and freeze them ;]
 

chadk

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I've been putting a mason jar filled with apple cider vinegar and a drop of dawn\joy\palmolive type dish soap in my kitchen and reptile rooms. The fruit flies are wiped out pretty fast. They are drawn to the jar, and simply drown in it the liquid.

It isn't as effective on the flying bugs I have in my reptile enclosures. If there is moisture, these little bugs start multiplying. But it has been killing many of them.

I'm also looking into Provent-A-Mite (PAM) that I use with my snakes. It is a spray safe for use around snakes and made for treating substrate. It lasts several weeks per use. My snake bins are ready for another round of preventative treatment, and since the bins are near the tort and lizard enclosures, I'm hopeful it will kill off some of the bugs.

There is another product I've heard of that I'm going to research more called 8 in 1 Bird Protector.

Also, I often put the apple cider vinegar in the water dish for my critters. It raises the PH to a level that is too high for bacteria to thrive... And I use a few drops of grapefruit seed extract oil when I change the water to also help dissinfect between deep cleanings.
 

Tom

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Do they crawl and dart around as much as they fly? If so, they are called phorid flies. They are a detrivore, meaning you've got some garbage in there for them to eat. They need 3 things to survive. Heat, humidity and a food source. Eliminate any one of those and they die off pretty quickly. We get these in our roach bins pretty frequently and if you remove all the food and let the bin dry out for a few days, it will usually eliminate them. Problem is, since they come from the environment, they will usually return. I haven't found a good, non-toxic, solution to them yet. On the bright side: They don't bother anything and they are cleaning up leftover food and junk from your enclosure. Also, they make great food for baby chameleons and mantids.
 

Madkins007

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They could also be fungus gnats, small bugs about 1/2 way between a fruit fly and a mosquito. They hatch in damp soils and substrates and can be a minor plant pest to seedlings, but are otherwise just a minor annoyance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungus_gnat

Most fruit fly tricks don't work for them- vinegar, banana, sticky paper, etc., but there are biological controls that work nicely that won't hurt the tortoises you can learn about on-line.

I find that cypress harbors them a lot less than soil mixes or coconut coir does.
 
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