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fruit flies and recycling council bins

(25 Posts)
alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 13:47:39

I know recycling is a brilliant idea, but has any one else found that their grass and veg bin is full of swarms of fruit flies.
Anyone got any ideas as i have tried fly spray and they just come back after an hour.

pseudoname Mon 03-Aug-09 13:48:47

orange or lemon peel? citronella oil? I've never tried it myself but I know that flies avoid them.

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 13:50:33

ive put both those in the bin and they seem to attract more of these little flies. They keep the wasps away tho. Do you reckon i shud ask the council health people if they have any ideas as i dont really want to stop recycling

pseudoname Mon 03-Aug-09 13:55:16

have you tried just the citronella oil? (realises now that if any fruit is attached to the peel it brings flies by the gazillion) dunno. I have in a tropical country used citronella oil when mopping the floor and the (house) flies stay away for a day or two.

golgi Mon 03-Aug-09 13:56:15

I've got loads in my compost bin. It's in the garden though, so I don't mind. They're only recycling the fruit.

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 13:58:24

they are breeding like flies[hmm) the flies arent recycling it they are using it to live and breed, but it is attracting them into my house when the patio doors are open an they are now on my fruit bowl....

LyraSilvertongue Mon 03-Aug-09 14:06:57

I hve the same problem. Every time I open the bin I get fruit flies swarming out. I'm hoping bleaching both bins (the inside one and the outisde one) will get rid of the eggs and therefore the flies. Where do the buggers come from anyway?

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 14:11:00

Dont know..but they are a PIA. i have a vague recollection of studying them in biology at school ( think they were called drosophila..the fruit fly....they also ruin a bottle of wine if you forget to put the cork back...they turn it vinegary over night...hmm

biggirlsdontcry Mon 03-Aug-09 14:21:19

having the same problem , dread putting anything in the compost bin , dh & i have resorted to flipping a coin & the loser does it grin .
i have tried bleaching the bin , it works for a day or two then the flies come back .

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 14:31:07

didnt think anyone wud reply to this thread ... wat can we do...its horrible

DesperateHousewifeToo Mon 03-Aug-09 14:37:58

I wrap all our food in newspaper and then put it in the bin. This seems to help. The lids fit tight too.

Our bins are only for food though, not grass cuttings so may be different.

GoldenSnitch Mon 03-Aug-09 14:38:39

Ours is full of flies too. Council as only been allowing kitchen waste in the garden waste bin for 2 weeks and already it's gross.

Our council suggest wrapping the food waste in newspaper before you put it in the bin but it's not helping.

I think Fly spray might be damaging to the composting process too...

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 03-Aug-09 14:39:54

You can put your left over food in a thin cardboard box as you can recycle these aswell.

Strong alcohol kills fruit flys by the way.

GoldenSnitch Mon 03-Aug-09 14:39:55

Oops, didn't see your reply before I posted Desperate Housewife - didn't mean to be rude!

GoldenSnitch Mon 03-Aug-09 14:41:12

The flies are NOT having my JD!!

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 14:43:48

we have a seperate bin for grass andveg peelings,fruit etc.
one for tins and glas
another for paper and cardboard
and a last one for all other waste.
Cant wrap peelings in paper as we cant put paper in grass bin

DesperateHousewifeToo Mon 03-Aug-09 14:46:29

Don't worry, just my slow typinggrin

I think if the food is wrapped tightly enough, the flies can't get to it.

Also smells less and does not require cleaning every week. I get veery annoyed if I get the wrong box back and have someone elses food covered one, boaksmile

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 14:48:41

the council wont take our bins if there is paper in the grass bin.

GoldenSnitch Mon 03-Aug-09 15:18:07

Ooooh, It's just occured to me that this wrapping the food in paper thing could be used as a fantastic excuse to eat more MacDonalds/KFC.Burger King etc...anything that comes in a paper bag grin

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 15:28:22

lolsmile

golgi Mon 03-Aug-09 16:44:14

People used to think they just appeared in the fruit by spontaneous generation.
Drosophila melanogaster - and you can use them for genetic cross experiments.

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 16:58:46

thats where i remember them from in biology. thanks for dragging those memory cells out of the depths. It was when i was doing genetics...
thanks for the memories smile

DitaVonCheese Mon 03-Aug-09 17:43:29

I make a very good fruit fly trap by making a cone out of paper, snipping the bottom off, then inverting it in a wine glass with half an inch of fruit vinegar in the bottom and taping it on firmly. They love the smell of vinegar, so fly down and through the hole, then can't get out again and eventually drown (ha!). You could do a scaled up version with a jam jar for outside maybe?

Lusi Mon 03-Aug-09 18:14:32

I studied drosophila for my Phd Thesis...and did loads of experiments on them - breeding them, radioactively labelling them...and chopping off their heads...but that's another story...
I also have a compost bin and had problems last year...they aren't considered a health hazard though (they don't do spitting and stamping in s**t or eat rotting flesh...like house flies or blue bottles) but...

We used traps of flasks filled with alcohol and banana skins for escapees in the lab (not the RA ones obviously -they just weren't given the opportunity to escape...)...these worked quite well. Also malt or cider vinegar with washing up liquid in it in a jam jar partly covered with cling film or foil will attract them and drown them. Put it near your fruit bowl.

They are most interested in rotten fruit so try and make sure there is nothing a bit overripe in your fruit bowl. (They love banana)

In your grass bin covering the peelings will keep them down ...maybe keep some grass to one side and put a layer over the peelings...the eggs already in the peelings etc will hatch and larvae will crawl up to pupate - so in the short term you will still have flies but if you don't give them the opportunity to lay eggs on anything the population will go down - an old piece of carpet tightly fitting the top will also help...just take it out for emptying. You could try attaching a fly paper to the lid as well..but they never seemed to work in the lab.

If you have a compost bin the carpet and covering works well...this year at the begining of summer I put a thick layer of the compost from the bottom over the top and have been religiously covering all the kitchen waste I put in there with screwed up paper or cut grass - also have been using compostable bags - but to be honest I tend to use them more than once -so some food goes in there bagless...and I haven't had a problem this year...so far...

Also if you store stuff in the kitchen before you bin it make sure what you keep it in has a tightly fitting lid...just one drossie can lay hundreds of eggs in just a few hours...

I would tell your council though ... they should be able to suggest something (like allowing newspaper in there...) after all they want to encourage recycling...

alypaly Mon 03-Aug-09 18:46:30

hey thanks for all the info .looks like its a country wide problem. Have actually rung the council envoronmental health to see what they say, or if they can give us wheeliebins with a tight seal otherwise i might just give up recycling veg and fruit and just stick to grass. so i will see if they ring me back with a solution. dont want any more wine ruining

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