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We had a few unusually warm days lately, I've just sown some tomato seeds last week and been thinking about fruit fly control. I've seen fly traps and bags at Scarlett's place, just wondering what everyone else uses for fruit fly control, and what are good fly traps (bought or DIY) and lures.

Also, does the stockings that worked so well against rodents for Betty & Bob works for fruit flies too?

Thanks ~

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There's a variety of anti-fruit-fly measures such as paper or fabric exclusion bags, lures and so on. The best of all though, is to have healthy plants growing in healthy soil.

I've had my share of fruit fly attacks and each time I can see that the plants were not doing at all well. Wrap the fruit and put it into the rubbish bin and remove the plants and either toss them out or chop them up for compost.

Having persevered with sick plants in the past, now anything that does not do well gets removed and dumped. Next move is to add good compost/worm castings or similar fertilizer to the soil and try again.

There are varieties or species which are particularly prone to fruit fly e.g. guavas, and personally I prefer not to spray at all. Meaning that I don't just replace toxic sprays with organic ones (and some organic sprays are quite toxic!) but if it needs spraying, then out it comes or I don't plant something which is regarded as impossible to grow here in Brisbane without spraying.

You'll have your failures and you will learn a lot from them. Do the best you can for your soil and most of the time - and especially in the cooler months - you won't have any fruit-fly-stung fruit and you won't have to waste your time tying bags around tresses of tomatoes.
This year I will definately give Anthony's trap a go as I ended up losing most of my crop from one thing or another. I will also use exclusion bags (still have a few left from ages ago - I think the waxed paper ones are probably best in my experience - the material ones didn't seem to work as well for me) and if I get a chance will make up some of my own for bigger fruit and try out some different materials as you can't buy them big enough (eg stars & moon watermelon).

From a Forum posted by Anthony 'Controlling Fruit Fly'.

There are several comments starting to exude from the woodwork on fruit fly proliferation, and so I thought it may prove timely to bring forth the time proven methods of fruit fly trapping.
you need milk bottles plastic 2 ltr ones are perfect fruit fly traps.

1) cut about 1/4 of the lid away
2) Laying the bottle on its side with the handle up, put a couple of holes in the upside back end corner and tie a piece of string or wire through the holes and to the handle with plenty to spare.
3) You are going to suspend the bottle horizontally in trees or around the garden to lure the fruit fly into the bottle.
4) Pour about 100ml water and 100mls vinegar into the bottle add a little fruit juice or fruit or veg
replace the lid when contents are added and clean out when there are just to many flies drowned.
make as many of these traps as you require.
keep attractants to a minimum in the garden.
oh~ I didn't see Anthony's posts ~ should have done a search before and add to his post rather then starting a new one ^^"
I only knew it was there because I had good intentions of using it last year but never got around to it.
Has anyone got a pic of the bottle......i cant think how its spos to look. (cut 1/4 lid away but then it says put lid back on????)
Does the fly go into the holes you confused. heehee. Pic would be great. xxxx
I will *hopefully* be making some this weekend and if I figure it out I will post a picture.

From what I understand the flies go in through the cut away portion of the lid, the holes are just to poke string through and use in conjuction with the handle to suspend it straight.

I also read about another similar one that if I find I will post before the weekend, I will be trialling both as they have different attractants as well - I think the other one was vegemite based from memory.
Oh thats what the stockings are I was wondering why the melon, was wearing a stocking..
Oh the joys of learning. xxx
I find the bags are really effective - even when the fruit flies are dormant in winter it's helped make my tomatoes completely blemish free. I think it's worth it (shampoo ad).
I'm also going to keep trapping the males with the Wild May Eco-Lure just to keep numbers down, but probably won't go any further than that (Green Harvest sells a biocide with a.i. Spinosad, which I have, but I'm thinking it's not a good thing, I checked the material safety data sheet: not what I call organic).
I noticed mine got bad when the tomatoes were calcium deficient. The plants do resist a lot better when they are zinging along, but even then I lose some and I'd rather not boost the population. I've got quite used to the bags, it's not a hardship - which surprises me, I though they'd be a real irritation. I just swap them around - you only really have to move them twice (on and off) and it takes a few weeks for a truss to ripen - I just move them straight onto another truss usually.
Another fly control question.... there's commercial fly control bottles you can get for around $10 each from hardware stores and supermarkets, does anybody use these? When you finish the lure which comes with the bottle, can you make your own lure?

Does these traps work for both fruit flies and common house flies? I've tried those sticky fly papers, but they are er... sticky to handle and they get stuck onto trees, walls, furnitures and leaving sticky marks all over the place....
The fly traps in the hardware stores are for ordinary house/bush/blow flies, not fruit flies.

There used to be DAK pots to lure and kill male fruit flies, don't know if they are still available. There are a number of commercial and home-made lures for fruit flies, but what happens then I'm not sure since I haven't used them. Refer to the Green Harvest website, there is some info there.

I've tried both the blue and yellow sticky paper things, sold by Green Harvest. Like the old-fashioned but still-available long narrow fly-paper-traps for ordinary flies, all these expensive but colourful things did was catch every insect including bees which I did not want caught. The aphids and whatever-else flew by un-harmed. I've tried them at the concentration recommended and I've tried them in a greenhouse. They are totally useless, in my not-at-all humble opinion.

If you want to go ahead and use a lure for fruit flies or indeed ordinary flies, there are many recipes about. The 'net will have plenty to choose from if there aren't already some on this site.

For ordinary flies, I recommend where practical, screening the whole house. For fruit flies, apart from having the healthiest soil you can manage, using the cloth or paper exclusion bags is the next best thing to not having fruit flies at all. Or growing fruit which does not normally attract fruit flies - early season ripening is more likely to escape fruit flies than mid or late season ripening.
my wild fruit fly lure is working again, catching males like anything, and nothing else, which is very pleasing
a lot of those ones you find in the supermarket/ hardware have pretty nasty chemicals in them - organosphophates/ organochlorines - v. dangerous, permanent nerve poisons. if it says S6 or S7 don't touch it I reckon (permanent cumulative nerve damage - also kills bees/ frogs/ worms etc)
Elaine, we do have the whole house screened, but house flies do still come in when we left the screen open for even a few seconds sometimes... oh well... we're in the country of flies..


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