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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: stlaleman on August 01, 2011, 11:28:30 PM

Title: Fruit Flies
Post by: stlaleman on August 01, 2011, 11:28:30 PM
They are swarming around my taps. Any good methods of getting rid of them? Seems every time I pour a pint, I get one out of the tap.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: gmac on August 01, 2011, 11:41:45 PM
First you've gotta get rid of anything that they can reproduce in (drip tray, spilled beer, empty bottle, fruit etc.) 

Then I use an insecticide to knock down the adults.  I use a product called Konk that contains pyrethrins which are derived from chrysanthemum flowers and are quite safe.  They are approved for use in hospitals, food handling plants etc.  If you stood in a room full of spray, you'd get a runny nose, that's about all (I used to work as an exterminator, I've done it...).  So look for pyrethrin or pyrethrum (same thing).  Avoid pyrethroid as they are synthetically derived and not as safe.  You often find pyrethrin with something call piperonyl butoxide which is a synergist and not an insecticide and nothing to worry about.

Then, be religious about keeping things clean from then on. 
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: tomsawyer on August 02, 2011, 01:26:25 PM
Its that time of year, we have them too.  With all my beer and winemaking stuff, as well as fresh garden produce, they are bound to be around.  I put out small glasses of wine with foil on top and holes punched, they get in and have a hard time getting out before they drink and die.  But you never get rid of them until it gets cold.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 02, 2011, 03:05:47 PM
Leave out a glass of cheap white wine.  This is supposed to work, though I haven't yet tried it.

Planning to, though, know that I think I've beaten back the ants for another year.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: punatic on August 02, 2011, 03:19:52 PM
It never freezes here, so there is no die-off season for gnats and fruit flies.  The suggestions above are all good ones.  We also use hang-down flypaper strips to catch the ones that are small enough to fit through the holes in the screens.  While they seem a bit quaint, they work well and fill up fast.

And remember:
Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana.

(thanks Tom, I couldn't resist)   ;D
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: Slowbrew on August 02, 2011, 03:27:08 PM
I've seen a few fruit flies this year but our biggest problem insect is earwigs.  They are harmless but they get into everything.  One year I pulled my transfer tubing out of the storage box and there were literally hundreds of them in the tubing. 

We had never seen then in Iowa until 6 or 7 years ago.  Now they are everywhere. 

Fruit flies can be a problem but earwigs are just too creepy.   :'(

Paul
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: punatic on August 02, 2011, 03:51:39 PM

I've seen a few fruit flies this year but our biggest problem insect is earwigs.  They are harmless but they get into everything.  


Rod Serling disagrees with your assessment:

The Caterpillar (http://www.hulu.com/watch/58794/night-gallery-the-caterpillarlittle-girl-lost)
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: gmac on August 02, 2011, 04:53:01 PM
I've seen a few fruit flies this year but our biggest problem insect is earwigs.  They are harmless but they get into everything.  One year I pulled my transfer tubing out of the storage box and there were literally hundreds of them in the tubing. 

We had never seen then in Iowa until 6 or 7 years ago.  Now they are everywhere. 

Fruit flies can be a problem but earwigs are just too creepy.   :'(

Paul

I named my last brew "Earwig APA" because there were about 20 of them in my mash tun (I think I rinsed most of them out).  I'm brewing outside so my cooler was sitting on the deck and they love that crack around the top of it.  Biggest problem here are "beer bugs" or sap beetles.  Little black guys with white dots on their back.  I pour 3 beers when my wife and I are drinking outside.  One for her, one for me, one for them.         
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 02, 2011, 06:24:26 PM
Earwigs love to get inside my grill. They start running when I add charcoal.

For them, it's like the roach motel.  The get in, but they don't get out.

Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: narcout on August 02, 2011, 08:27:36 PM
I put out small glasses of wine with foil on top and holes punched, they get in and have a hard time getting out before they drink and die. 

I did something similar last year with a few ounces of beer and a mason jar.  It decimated the entire population of fruit flys in my house in just a few days.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: bluesman on August 02, 2011, 08:36:54 PM
Set some fruit fly traps. Use a beer bottle filled with about an inch of cider vinegar. Tape off 3/4 of the bottle opening so when they get in they will have a hard time getting out. Set out about four of them around the infested area.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: Slowbrew on August 02, 2011, 08:56:33 PM
Earwigs love to get inside my grill. They start running when I add charcoal.

For them, it's like the roach motel.  The get in, but they don't get out.



I had the same problem with grackles in my grill one year.  I opened it one day had 2 birds in my face.  I cleaned out the nest and the next day it was back.  Cleaned it out again.  The third time I turned on the gas and lit it without opening the hood.  They stopped building their next inside it after that.

Paul
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: gymrat on August 03, 2011, 12:22:38 AM
I got rid of mine by cutting up an apple, putting it in a bowl, pouring balsamic vinegar on it, then covering it with cling wrap and poking holes in the cling wrap. As the apples rotted the flies prefered that over anything else in the house, they crawled through the holes then couldn't find their way back out. They went in there to breed. I replaced this bowl two or three times and haven't seen a fruit fly since.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: skyler on August 04, 2011, 04:16:29 PM
I got them SO MUCH in Portland. My cure was just keeping everything near the tap very very clean and never letting a beer glass or wine bottle "sit" without being emptied and rinsed out. Now that I am in Berkeley, we don't have any fruitflies, despite several fruit trees on the property.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: Jimmy K on August 04, 2011, 04:28:34 PM
Wine, beer, cider, juice, are all great attractants. Add a drop of soap to break the surface tension and they won't stand a chance. As soon as they take a sip the soapy solution coats their wings and trachea so they can't fly or breathe.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: cohappy on August 08, 2011, 12:09:13 AM
I just heard this this weekend.  Take a jar with a lid, drill holes in the lid.  Put some red wine vinegar in the jar, about half full.  Add a few drops of dish soap.  Put the lid on it and set it near  the problem area.
Title: Re: Fruit Flies
Post by: jhwk on August 10, 2011, 01:46:54 PM
wow, you guys are advanced.  I just spray down my taps with sanitizer after cleaning them and then put plugs over the taps.  When I grab a beer, I just put the plug back on when I am done.

no fruit flies for the last two summers.