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How can I Keep out Parasitic Flies?

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by SpiderBrains, Jun 11, 2018.

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    Hey all, I've lost most of my Dubia colony to some sort of small parasitic fly (likely Phorid flies). I tried cleaning and moving to a fresh container, but they are back again and munching through my remaining roaches. I'm afraid I'm going to have to scrap this colony and start over. The local pet store owner has had similar problems and suggested putting paper towels across the tops of the containers under the lid. Unfortunately, that won't work well with a container large enough for a decent colony, and I'd prefer a more durable and permanent filter solution.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for an air tight container and filter I can use to keep the suckers out of my new colony? I'm US based, so anything sourced through Walmart, Amazon, or Hobby Lobby is a plus!
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  2. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Short answer: you can't. I'm constantly battling the damn phorid flies, and there really isn't a way of keeping them completely out because they are so small. Even the mesh "insect lids" that we used over the tops of the fruit fly cups are not impenatrable. While the flies themselves cannot get through, they seem to be able to lay their eggs through the mesh, because if we keep fruit fly cultures in our bug room, they inevitably get infested with phorids. If we keep the cultures in a different room, though, and only bring them into the bug room to dispense flies at feeding time, they remain "clean," indicating that the problem is definitely something that arises while the lids are securely in place, and not just a few stray flies getting in while the cups are open for feeding.

    What you can do to minimize them is be really vigilant about removing old or spoiled food, dead feeders, and waste, as they absolutely thrive in those things. I've also switched to disposable food dishes for my roaches - I just use pieces of egg crate, then throw them away every few days, so the fruit and veggie juices that would otherwise remain in the bottom of a dish or soak into substrate don't accumulate and provide a breeding ground. I've also hung "gold stick" fly traps (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005IMZ9L0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) near the cages to pick off the adult flies. It's not perfect, but it does help keep the numbers down - or at least it did, before I started keeping dung beetles. Now the fly population is on the rise again. :mad:
  3. Interesting, do you think a thinker filter, or multiple layers might help stop this?
  4. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord Active Member

    Pantyhose stops them brilliantly. I used it (alongside sturdier ventilation) in my susceptible enclosures and the problems in them entirely stopped. I usuallly use 2 or so layers for maximum effect.
  5. Interesting... I usually use a plastic storage bin, and replace large areas of the lid with window screen attached with hot glue. I'm wondering how I can make some hose span large areas, or if I need to make more, smaller vents.
  6. tewebag

    tewebag Arachnoknight

    Just cut them to size, they do have some stretch to them.
  7. Anyone have a favorite container that seals good around the lid? The ones I've used so far have pretty big gaps around the edges.