Flies... again

EulersK

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Alright, here we go again.

I had a pretty bad outbreak of phorid flies awhile ago, and luckily I've gotten that taken care of. Unfortunately, I'm back to my old fly problem, but I don't believe that these are phorid flies. I'm not sure what they are, but they're quite a bit smaller.

Now, here's the big question. My T. stirmi enclosure (which is kept perpetually moist) seems the be the source of this outbreak. Her enclosure is crawling with these flies, but the strange thing is that I can't seem to find any larvae. With the phorid flies, I was able to find tiny crawling larvae near the water dish and on any moist substrate. Not at all the case this time around, only flies. Before I go rehousing her, does anyone know if the larvae could simply be too small for me to see? Or if this species of fly doesn't lay larvae at all? It could just be that they're attracted to her humid enclosure and reproducing elsewhere. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: :banghead:

Scratch that. They were simply too small to see. I took some of the substrate under a microscope, and sure enough there are larvae. So, new question. I was able to rid myself of phorid flies by mixing peat moss into my substrate - this made the substrate too acidic for them to reproduce, and it solved the problem overnight. Well, apparently these flies are resistant to that. Does anyone know of another means to make the substrate inhospitable to them?
 

arizonablue

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Sounds like fungus gnats. Skinny black bodies? I had a ton of them a while ago and only ever saw a single larva. They're tiny little things. They love moist soil and are tough to get rid of. You can use a sticky yellow trap outside the enclosure. They seem to have more trouble reproducing in coco fiber than soil. Can you swap the sub for coco fiber or mix some in? They also only reproduce in the top layer of soil, so if you let it dry out a bit or scrap the top layer entirely that may help.
 

shaneshac

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i put in loads of isopods and they seem to sort out the problems for me

Those sticky strips hanging from the side of the terrariums or shelves for a while will also get rid of them
 

EulersK

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Sounds like fungus gnats. Skinny black bodies? I had a ton of them a while ago and only ever saw a single larva. They're tiny little things. They love moist soil and are tough to get rid of. You can use a sticky yellow trap outside the enclosure. They seem to have more trouble reproducing in coco fiber than soil. Can you swap the sub for coco fiber or mix some in? They also only reproduce in the top layer of soil, so if you let it dry out a bit or scrap the top layer entirely that may help.
Absolutely fungus gnats, no doubt. Which is great, because I know that they're harmless. They're just irritating beyond belief. I set a cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with a drop of soap on top of the tarantula's enclosure - it caught no less than a couple dozen overnight. But that didn't even make a dent.

I didn't know that they only reproduce in the top layer - great news for my H. gigas. Her substrate is moist to the bottom, so the top could stand to dry out. My T. stirmi will have to be rehoused, unfortunately. I have no cocofiber, but I'm going to try 100% peat moss. I was using 50/50 topsoil and peat, but perhaps the pure peat will do the trick. I just hate that stuff with a passion, but it's better than the flies.

i put in loads of isopods and they seem to sort out the problems for me

Those sticky strips hanging from the side of the terrariums or shelves for a while will also get rid of them
Isopods? Really? I thought they were detrivores? I've got P. scaber "Orange", but unfortunately not enough to rely on.
 

Sarkhan42

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A little unconventional, and definitely not a 100% effective solution, but after facing a similar problem I invested in carnivorous plants. While I still see a fly on occaision(never larvae anymore, I also did some rehousing) the population died down in a major way, and I got some really cool decorations for the invert room :)
 

EulersK

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A little unconventional, and definitely not a 100% effective solution, but after facing a similar problem I invested in carnivorous plants. While I still see a fly on occaision(never larvae anymore, I also did some rehousing) the population died down in a major way, and I got some really cool decorations for the invert room :)
I keep hearing that over and over, but man, isn't just keeping a cup of apple cider vinegar out a whole lot easier than watering and maintaining tropical plants?
 

basin79

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My Megaphobema Mesomelas enclosure is wet and I've never suffered with them, mold or mites.

Springtails.
 

EulersK

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My Megaphobema Mesomelas enclosure is wet and I've never suffered with them, mold or mites.

Springtails.
This talk of isopods and springtails... why does it matter??? They're detrivores, I don't see how they'd have any impact on fly larvae.

I mean hell, I'll give it a go. Should I just give my T. stirmi enclosure a good dose of springtails rather than rehousing?
 

basin79

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This talk of isopods and springtails... why does it matter??? They're detrivores, I don't see how they'd have any impact on fly larvae.

I mean hell, I'll give it a go. Should I just give my T. stirmi enclosure a good dose of springtails rather than rehousing?
They eat all the left overs and anything else that mites and other unwanted occupants would use.

Yes. Give springtails a chance. They're incredible.
 

arizonablue

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This talk of isopods and springtails... why does it matter??? They're detrivores, I don't see how they'd have any impact on fly larvae.

I mean hell, I'll give it a go. Should I just give my T. stirmi enclosure a good dose of springtails rather than rehousing?
It's worth a try. Springtails will outcompete the larvae and the flies for food. You might not see an instant improvement but over time it definitely helps keep things under control.I saw a pretty quick decline in my fungus gnat population once I added springtails to everything.
 

EulersK

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Alright, liberal application of springtails it is. Thanks all.
 

Galapoheros

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I've had the problem before. I've had mite problems and fly problems. Since I live by myself there is nobody else to complain about it. So I stopped worrying about it and things slowly balanced out. I added isopods to cages and that's about it, dwarf white pods. If I need leaves I just grab them out of the yard, no cleaning this and that, no sterilizing. It seemed the more I tried to clean cages, the worse problems became so I never clean and "sterilize" things. Isopods do like some protein so I think it's possible they might consume a gnat larvae now and then.
 

shaneshac

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Yes like mentioned they become direct competition for the food the larvae are eating and keep everything in check
 

EulersK

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Yes like mentioned they become direct competition for the food the larvae are eating and keep everything in check
Alright. I'm still going to rehouse, but I'll get a good helping of springtails in there with the new substrate. Thanks for the advice, all. Now I just have to catch the flies buzzing about the room...

Clearly you pissed off Beelzebub too much my man :troll:
I'm not sure how. The ritual went off without a hitch.
 

Chris LXXIX

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I'm not sure how. The ritual went off without a hitch.
Ah, I see. Terrible, a terrible mistake my man. You summoned him. But you are a devoted scholar of engineering, you should had summon Decarabia, instead... old dastard has an insane passion for mathematics :-s
 

Hisserdude

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Even with isopods and springtails, you probably won't get rid of them, they always seem to co-exist peacefully in enclosures with cleanup crews IME. Fungus gnats are almost impossible to get rid of, since they can fit through window screen and get back inside your enclosures easily, even if you completely eradicate them.

They are harmless detrivores, and don't really bother other inverts at all, the adults are just annoying since they have a tendency to fly up your nose... But other than that, they are completely harmless, and I've just learned to live with them, it's way more trouble trying to get rid of them that it's worth.

Off topic, I've got phorid flies in one of my enclosures and GOD are the maggots disgusting, removed some dead bodies the other day and one was full of them and a couple dropped onto my hand... :vomit: I REALLY dislike most maggots, like they make me want to gag, (though fungus gnats maggots don't bother me at all, they are transparent and actually kinda cool looking IMO).
 

EulersK

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Even with isopods and springtails, you probably won't get rid of them, they always seem to co-exist peacefully in enclosures with cleanup crews IME. Fungus gnats are almost impossible to get rid of, since they can fit through window screen and get back inside your enclosures easily, even if you completely eradicate them.

They are harmless detrivores, and don't really bother other inverts at all, the adults are just annoying since they have a tendency to fly up your nose... But other than that, they are completely harmless, and I've just learned to live with them, it's way more trouble trying to get rid of them that it's worth.

Off topic, I've got phorid flies in one of my enclosures and GOD are the maggots disgusting, removed some dead bodies the other day and one was full of them and a couple dropped onto my hand... :vomit: I REALLY dislike most maggots, like they make me want to gag, (though fungus gnats maggots don't bother me at all, they are transparent and actually kinda cool looking IMO).
Thanks for the info, although not something I wanted to hear. I don't really care about getting rid of them entirely, but I've got literally hundreds if not over a thousand in my invert room. I can't stand this, it's driving me mad.

For the phorid flies, utilize peat moss! Takes care of them overnight.
 

Hisserdude

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Thanks for the info, although not something I wanted to hear. I don't really care about getting rid of them entirely, but I've got literally hundreds if not over a thousand in my invert room. I can't stand this, it's driving me mad.

For the phorid flies, utilize peat moss! Takes care of them overnight.
Wow, that's a LOT of fungus gnats, never had that many, and they are in literally in every one of my humid enclosures...

How does peat moss get rid of phorid flies?
 
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