Vinegar fly plague hits NR
FRUIT bowls across the Northern Rivers have become home to a plague of tiny vinegar flies.
The flies, members of the Drosophilidae family of small fruit flies, set up digs about a month ago and have since been driving many householders to distraction.
“We had them everywhere,” Simon Wolstencroft, of Barkers Vale, said.
“I thought it was just our place, but they are everywhere.”
Industry and Investment NSW spokesman Phil Bevan said there had been anecdotal reports of higher than usual numbers of the flies this year.
“They pose no threat to any local commercial industries,” he said.
Mr Bevan said this year’s bumper mango crop was probably to blame.
“They like rotting fruit, like when mangoes are left on the ground,” he said.
Mr Wolstencroft agreed rotting mangoes were the likely cause; there are two mango trees on his property.
“Once the mangoes had fallen, and with the wet weather, they were everywhere,” he said.
Mr Wolstencroft said there were so many flies in their kitchen he turned to the internet for information on how to build a fruit fly trap.
“We found it on YouTube,” he said.
“It works really well.”
Mr Wolstencroft now has two home-made fruit fly traps in his kitchen and the number of flies has reduced significantly.
Rotting fruit or banana skin is used to lure the flies inside the trap; once they are in they can’t get back out.
Mr Wolstencroft then places the trap in his freezer for five minutes until the flies are dead.
Alternatively, the flies can be ‘rehoused’ to an outside compost heap.
One member of the Drosophilidae family, the Drosophila melanogaster, is extensively used as a model organism in the research of genetics, cell-biology, biochemistry, and especially developmental biology.
Their life expectancy is 10 to 18 days.
HOW TO BULD A FLY TRAP
Take an empty cordial bottle and cut it off just where the neck begins to taper in.
Put a piece of banana or banana skin inside the bottle.
Take the neck section and put it inside the bottle, so it is like a funnel with the opening pointing toward the bottom of the bottle.
The top of the bottle can be sealed with sticky tape.
Place the trap in the kitchen near where fruit flies are found.