Friday, November 6, 2009

WIMB: I'll take 5 million

[Part 3 of Worms in my Basement]

After extensive research, I energetically undertook a number of fruit fly extermination and suppression measures as part of Operation Fruit Fly Destruction. First, I set up several homemade traps around the bin. These are simply shallow dishes filled with apple cider vinegar and covered with plastic wrap with small holes poked in it. The flies are attracted to the sweet vinegar and can't get out once they've entered through one of the holes.

I also hung fly tape and put a more solid lid on the bin. Many of the sites I read said that rotting food needs to be buried deep in the bin so that the flies can't reach it to lay their eggs. To this end, I disguised the bin's fertile breeding grounds with several inches of shredded newspaper.

These strategies were all intended to trap the living fruit flies (which can live for up to 2 weeks) and to curb their reproduction. I still needed a way to ensure that my basement's fruit fly population would go extinct.

Enter the nematodes. Beneficial nematodes are marketed as "microscopic warriors" that will eat fruit fly larvae, along with many other garden nuisances. They are often used by gardeners as an organic method for dealing with insect pests. Thus, I found myself, in the wee hours of the morning, ordering 5 million beneficial nematodes off the internet. When they arrived in the mail a couple days later, I applied them to the compost and encouraged them on their mission.

I have had to stop adding more food to the bin as part of the Operation but, in the meantime, my roommates and I have become expert fruit fly trap craftswomen. We know which containers work best (the shallower the better) and the effectiveness of various liquids (red wine and my botched batch of ginger beer are quite tempting) as well as the ideal trapping spots. Now, it is simply a matter of keeping the traps fresh and being patient while the fruit flies live out their short lives and the nematodes work their magic.


  1. oh man, you've got me on the edge of my seat! the nematodes sound great. at the very least you're learning tons about insects... can't wait for the next installment. keep it up!

  2. Don't stop posting such stories. I love to read stories like that. By the way add more pics :)

  3. Interesting blog you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about this theme. Thanks for giving that data.
    Joan Stepsen
    San Francisco escorts



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...