Monday, May 31, 2010

Fruit Flies Buzz Around Bins

Fruit flies are tiny flies (2-4mm) that are associated with fermenting fruit, vegetable matter or sweet liquids. Leave a glass of wine out and the little fly that you find ‘happily’ swimming around on the surface is likely to be a fruit fly.

Some species are dark and some pale often with red eyes and often accompanied by hundreds of his or her associates.

The recent wet weather along with still mild temperatures and high humidity in Auckland and other parts of New Zealand have seen a boom of fruit fly numbers. The wet weather has meant that rotting fruit or vegetable matter such as in bins, compost heaps or just left lying around are fermenting rather than composting properly. The fermentation process produces vinegar which attracts the flies to the rotting material and here they feed and breed.

If you have bins attracting fruit flies, clean the bins thoroughly and when dry treat the interior and exterior with NO Bugs Super or NO Flies sprays. If your compost is attracting fruit flies it suggests that the compost is too wet. Aerate the compost and protect the top of the compost with a tarpaulin or similar and let the compost dry out a bit. The compost can be treated with insecticide but remember not to use the compost on crops for some weeks after treatment. Check the withholding period on the insecticide product.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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