Those darn black flies

B.L.

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
49
I keep getting those tiny black flies in my cage. I live in a dry climate so bugs are drawn to my T. Blondi's cage since I keep the humidity at 70%. I tried baking the soil this worked fine for a couple months but now they are back! :rolleyes: I think what I am going to do is buy another cage put peat moss as the bedding this time..... see if she likes that better. Then I will rotate cages and let the unused cage dry out so no bugs can survive. I don't want to keep baking the soil that stinks the whole house up for a week and my roomates keep asking me "whats that smell?" and I have to pretend I don't know. {D
 

starseed

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
9
What kind of habitat do you have? Do you have a cage with holes drilled in it or do you have a tank with wire grid on the top?

If you have the wire grid type have you though about getting a denser mesh that will still allow the air to flow but not to allow even the smallest bugs in. You can find rolls of this mesh at home depot or lowes for cheap. Its almost like metal fabric the holes are so small.

If you have the cage with holes drilled I am sure you can cover the holes with the mesh. It may not look the best but if your not big on looks it should do the trick.

Just make sure you get wire mesh and not plastic. Ts have a knack at tearing open the plastic mesh and escaping.
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
5,450
I HATE those little flies!!!

I'm fairly certain mine came in a crix box. I looked at the underside of one of those pieces of rockwool or whetever it is that they throw in there for water and it was crawling with tiny maggots! I threw out the crickets but the flies must have hatched out in the trash. (Duh... of course they did) Now they're all over my house. they don't bother the t's that much (but some) but they keep showing up in the sinks and toilets. Uurrghhh...
 

Buckwheat

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
82
putting fine "mesh" screen on a spider top is just an accident waiting to happen! If they climb and get their claws caught in that screen which might leave them hanging there upside down, then you both have a problem. One way for it to lose an appendage or perhaps a few! bad idea. Dry out your enclosures and they will more than likely go away. Could be simple. :)
 

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
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Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
1,670
I keep getting those tiny black flies in my cage. I live in a dry climate so bugs are drawn to my T. Blondi's cage since I keep the humidity at 70%. ...
I'll bet what you have are Phorid flies. They look a lot like dark colored fruit flies. (Fungus gnats are a lot lighter in weight and daintier.) They are commensal on (living on, but not parasitizing) many of the giant tarantulas like T. blondi and the Pamphobeteus species. They also breed on moist garbage in your kitchen and dead crickets in the cricket holding cage. Worse, they sometimes lay eggs on the non-host tarantulas and the maggots will kill them.

On their host tarantulas their maggots hide in crevasses in the tarantula's exoskeleton and have been reported moving to the tarantula's mouth area during feeding to join in the feast with the tarantula. Apparently they return to their lairs in the tarantula's creases and crevasses after they've stolen their fill.

I struggled with them for years and couldn't get rid of them until I got rid of our giant tarantulas in preparation for moving into the motorhome.

You can reduce their numbers by instituting a rigid household hygiene regimen. All garbage is immediately taken outdoors, for instance. And absolutely no dead crickets should be allowed to stay in your home.

The curly fly tapes hung from the ceiling will have only a minimal effect on their numbers. I even tried trapping for them using dead crickets in a bottle a lot like homemade yellow jacket traps. They helped minimally. Perhaps other readers can offer their favorite cures.

Best of luck.
 

christin

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 1, 2007
Messages
87
putting fine "mesh" screen on a spider top is just an accident waiting to happen! If they climb and get their claws caught in that screen which might leave them hanging there upside down, then you both have a problem. One way for it to lose an appendage or perhaps a few! bad idea. Dry out your enclosures and they will more than likely go away. Could be simple. :)
Do you have experience with this? If it's the same mesh I'm thinking of, it's so fine that a T would not be able to get stuck. I have regular screen tops--and I have one T that gets stuck all the time. I was going to switch all of my cages to the mesh. Any imput?
 

beetleman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
2,872
yeah, ive get those fungus knats everywhere:wall: but then again i have native jumping spiders in the room also,and they go nuts after them{D humid/dry what ever they are everywhere:p i think mine are coming from the cypress mulch/peat mixture i'm useing. ah the fun in invert. keeping.
 

starseed

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
9
I have this mesh on all of my habitats and have had no problems at all.

The holes are no where near big enough for anything to get caught.
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
5,450
Eeeks! Phorid flies?

I'll bet what you have are Phorid flies. They look a lot like dark colored fruit flies. (Fungus gnats are a lot lighter in weight and daintier.) They are commensal on (living on, but not parasitizing) many of the giant tarantulas like T. blondi and the Pamphobeteus species. They also breed on moist garbage in your kitchen and dead crickets in the cricket holding cage. Worse, they sometimes lay eggs on the non-host tarantulas and the maggots will kill them.

On their host tarantulas their maggots hide in crevasses in the tarantula's exoskeleton and have been reported moving to the tarantula's mouth area during feeding to join in the feast with the tarantula. Apparently they return to their lairs in the tarantula's creases and crevasses after they've stolen their fill.

I struggled with them for years and couldn't get rid of them until I got rid of our giant tarantulas in preparation for moving into the motorhome.

You can reduce their numbers by instituting a rigid household hygiene regimen. All garbage is immediately taken outdoors, for instance. And absolutely no dead crickets should be allowed to stay in your home.

The curly fly tapes hung from the ceiling will have only a minimal effect on their numbers. I even tried trapping for them using dead crickets in a bottle a lot like homemade yellow jacket traps. They helped minimally. Perhaps other readers can offer their favorite cures.

Best of luck.
OK, now you've got me worried. Would these phorid flies be attracted to water? Since the outbreak i've had at my house i find them dead in the toilet bowl every morning. They're like fruit flies but bigger and the wings have some black to them rather than the typical fly wings.

I'm googling phorid flies next...
 

KJE

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
808
From what I understand phorid flies do not fly very well, but fungus gnats do. I got some fungus gnats in with a batch of crickets last year. I've been trying to fully rid my house of them ever since. They are VERY annoying! Good luck!
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Apr 11, 2007
Messages
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I'm going home today and pour drano or bleach down every drain and sanitize the sh!+ outta the toilet. They stick around wet areas like those whatever they are. Maybe these are no danger at all to the t's but if they are i'm gonna be pretty bummed if something happens.
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
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Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
For the most part Phorid Flies will only live in your moist tanks. By keeping Isopods in your moist tanks they will directly compete with scavenger mites and the Phorid Fly maggots. I keep Isopods (rollie pollies, pill bugs, sowbugs or whatever you want to call them) in all my moist tanks. If you all want to know more about Isopods be sure to send a PM to OldHag. We dont call her the SowBug Queen for nothing ;)
 

kimski

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
86
The Scourge

I have them, too:mad: My 'Tarantula Keeper's Guide' describes them as the scourge. They are all over the place. I thought they came in with some other potting soil I used to refresh my houseplants but can't be sure. First, I have to remove my T's and kill the bugs in the plants - then clean their cages. I hope they don't actually infest my T's.

This is awful. Both of my T's are relatively new in the house and they seem so comfortable - I HATE to disturb them.
Good luck to all who are dealing w/ this plague. I will report on my progress.
 

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
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Jul 16, 2004
Messages
1,670
... The holes are no where near big enough for anything to get caught.
It isn't the holes that are the problem. It's where the wires cross. There is a wedge shaped gap that wraps around each wire as it crosses every other wire. The tarantula's claw slides into that gap as far as it can. At that point it becomes firmly caught between the wires and the tarantula has the Devil's own time try to get loose.

If the mesh in your cage tops is hot-dip galvanized, the zinc galvanizing fills those gaps very much the same way solder would, preventing the problem.
 

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
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Messages
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... Would these phorid flies be attracted to water? ...
Yup! But that's because they prefer moist habitats, not because they're living or breeding there. Water in a toilet bowl is actually a red herring, luring them away from your tarantulas.
 

kimski

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
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Apr 13, 2006
Messages
86
Lions, and Tigers and Tarantulas... Oh my!

Is that really you? I just quoted you - and I was reading your book today at lunch! Thanks for the posting. I am a relative 'new-bie' having only 2 Tarantulas thus far but - of course - wanting, many, many more!
Take care and be well. Kim Ski
PS: I didn't read your entire post before I wrote about The Tarantula Keeper's Guide! Next time, I'll finish each post before I go blabbing!
 
Last edited:

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
1,670
Kim and All -

Is that really you? ...
I guess it is. :)

... I just quoted you - and I was reading your book today at lunch! ...
And thanks for the plug.

... PS: I didn't read your entire post before I wrote about The Tarantula Keeper's Guide! Next time, I'll finish each post before I go blabbing! ...
I do that all the time, and it's not unusual that I get flamed for saying something inappropriate. Don't feel too bad. In a week no one will remember or care.

Enjoy your tarantulas!
 

IdahoBiteyThing

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
599
phorid or fungus gnats?

Did we ever figure out if they're phorids or fungus gnats? If it's fungus gnats, I've used Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis to get rid of them very effectively. This is a biological control that is specific to mosquito larvae, black fly larvae and fungus gnat larvae. Don't know if it would work for phorids, but if there are fungus gnats in your houseplants or T tanks, this product works great! Also safe for fish tanks if they've colonized your external biofilters. Tony
 

B.L.

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
49
What kind of habitat do you have? Do you have a cage with holes drilled in it or do you have a tank with wire grid on the top?

If you have the wire grid type have you though about getting a denser mesh that will still allow the air to flow but not to allow even the smallest bugs in. You can find rolls of this mesh at home depot or lowes for cheap. Its almost like metal fabric the holes are so small.

If you have the cage with holes drilled I am sure you can cover the holes with the mesh. It may not look the best but if your not big on looks it should do the trick.

Just make sure you get wire mesh and not plastic. Ts have a knack at tearing open the plastic mesh and escaping.

I have a 20 gallon long tank with a sliding screen top that came with the tank. It is factory made, I think the cage was designed for say keeping a lizard or snake in.
I will have to go to home depot and look up with mesh you are talking about. Thanks.
 

B.L.

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
49
Did we ever figure out if they're phorids or fungus gnats? If it's fungus gnats, I've used Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis to get rid of them very effectively. This is a biological control that is specific to mosquito larvae, black fly larvae and fungus gnat larvae. Don't know if it would work for phorids, but if there are fungus gnats in your houseplants or T tanks, this product works great! Also safe for fish tanks if they've colonized your external biofilters. Tony
I believe they are Phorids where do I get this "Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis" that sounds very interesting to me. :)
 
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