Fruit Flies in the Worm Bin

Kelly's vinegar trap full of fruit flies.

There are fruit flies in the worm bin. Tons of them. I get a face-full of flies each time I feed the worms. This might not matter very much, aside from the fact that the red wigglers have been snacking cozily in their back bathroom worm bin since last fall, when I brought them in out of the cold and gave them stern instructions to mate like mad all winter long.

Now, the fruit flies have spread from the worm bin to the rest of the house, and try as we may to keep the kitchen sink and counters clean of tempting morsels, the flies seem to find enough to stick around (and sire new generations). Kelly set out a bowl of cider vinegar, which traps a good number, but the plague continues.

Kelly has asked more than once (and quite patiently, I might add) if it might be warm enough for the worms to move back outside, but I’ve resisted, worried that a late cold snap could put a dent in their reproductive cycle. If I hadn’t been so busy with other gardening endeavors, I might have acted sooner to put a stop to the fruit fly breeding party; a trick gleaned from the twelve-week county composting class I took last spring has been nagging at the corners of my mind.

The idea is simple: place layers of newspaper over the compost in the top worm bin and tuck it in snuggly around the edges. The newspaper blanket keeps the fruit fly from accessing food in the bin, effectively halting reproduction.

It sounds simple enough. Now I think I’ll go do it.

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