Friday, September 28, 2007

Fruit Flies Are Common In The Worm Bin

Drosophila melanogaster (from the Greek for black-bellied dew-lover) is commonly known as the fruit fly.

The life cycle of the fruit fly depends on the temperature of the environment the fruit fly is inhabiting. A worm bin is a perfect environment for the fruit fly as the temperature is ideal and there is a ready made food source. The shortest development time (egg to adult), 7 days, is achieved at 28 °C or 82 °F. Ideal temperatures for the fruit fly is 25 °C or 77 °F and development is 8.5 days. Females lay some 400 eggs (embryos), about five at a time, into rotting fruit, with the eggs hatching after 12-15 hours. The resulting larvae grow and molt, all the while feeding on the microorganisms that decompose the fruit as well as on the sugar in the fruit. Everything about your worm bin is perfect for the life of a fruit fly.

So, what can you do about avoiding a fruit fly invasion?

One of the first avenues of defense is to wash your fruit before you prepare it for eating. But probably the best plan is to make sure you are covering your layer of raw organic matter with a thick layer of shredded newspaper. This will help keep the fruit flies from having access to your rotting fruit for egg laying. The second thing you can do is to make sure you are turning your bin on a regular basis. This will help to disturb the little beasties where they live. Your layer of shredded newspaper will be like a blanket and will be easily moved for turning. Plan to turn your bin once a week.

Fruit flies do not have to ruin your worm bin composting experience.

Happy worming,

MotherEarth'sFarm / VermiCulture Northwest

The Original Worm Factory
The cleanest, most effecient worm bin composting system.
Better than building your own.