Battling fruit flies and gnats

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burger2227
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Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:54 am

It's that time of year again. Every year around this time, my place gets full of fruit flies or gnats. I think most come from corn.

One solution I often have seen on the internet swears by Apple Cider Vinegar in a variety of containers with limited access:
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This one is a water bottle with the top cut off and inserted upside down as an inverted funnel. Vinegar and a drop of dish soap is added
to allow the bugs to sink into the cider instead of stand on top of the liquid. The funnel must be above the liquid surface.

SUCCESS! Got about 16 bodies at the bottom overnight. Must work better at night because there were none all day.
Image
Supposedly the gnats will not be able to figure a way to fly back out. That's why the bottle parts need to be taped well too.
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:12 pm

Eventually I decided to take a more active approach with this assault weapon:
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Any old working spray bottle can be used with water and a very tiny bit of dish-washing liquid. ONE SPRAY KILLS EM DEAD!
Gnats are very hard to swat dead and your hands will suffer! The best thing to do is wait for them to land and spray them well.

Here is one that I sprayed on the bathroom wall yesterday. The crime scene looks untouched...
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I've even been able to drop a few in mid air! I also was able to take down a fly, but he could get away when his wings dry.
Don't spray near electronics or wall outlets! Gnats and fruit flies will die immediately. It may take a few days to get them all.
Carry the sprayer around with you as gnats love people and follow them everywhere. That's one reason they are so annoying!

If anybody knows of another SURE FIRE way to get rid of these creatures for FREE without poisons, please let us all know!
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:40 am

Here is the latest kill jar report. About 26 now:
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So far the apple cider vinegar has not evaporated much and it still seems to be working.

This is the closest look I can get:
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Still don't see the red eyes.


Image

I did find some pupa mounted on a pot lid I had water in. I've seen hundreds of them on kitchen garbage can lids too!

Beware of standing water in sinks, dishes etc. They seem to be able to get into any pot even with lids on them!
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:27 am

I also found that using the spray bottle with a drop of Joy keeps flies away OUTDOORS. Just spray a fly and they don't come back for more!

You can even spray at drink glasses and not have to worry about fouling your drink.

Spray the diluted dishwashing liquid into the sink and wet dish area often too. Garbage disposals can hold pupa and they love standing water!
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:30 am

Bought a 120 volt AC bug zapper for $16 and it appears to have caught a few of the bigger fruit flies.
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I put the apple cider vinegar trap next to the zapper to try to catch the smaller ones attracted to the glow light.

Found two in one side near to each other after one night running:
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I didn't think that the high voltage wires were close enough together but it worked on a few.

High voltage Warning! Turn off the bug zapper and wait 10 minutes before attempting to brush off bug residue! Larger bugs can be removed
by removing the bottom of the unit after it has been turned off and allowed to discharge.
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:37 am

The bug zapper seems to be getting a lot at night so I only run it then:
Image
I found at least 15 today with 10 on this one side.

I left town for a few days and the fly count went up again. Can't seem to stop the breeding!
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby iamdenteddisk » Fri May 01, 2015 9:00 pm

the bottle is the best trick I have seen. I suppose the bugs are attracted to the CO2 released by the fermentation process which is infused into emulsion of the vinegar slowly being released as evaporation splits molecules. same gas also released by humans exhaling, being the reason they follow people. this is also the same reason they seek out rotten vegetable matter in trash. love this stuff. "very Green!" true science!

you used geometry (shape of the bottle) and chemistry (time releasing CO2) as well as biology of the bugs (knowing the bug seeks CO2) to out whit pest.

this is a great example of application of scientific method. I have seen beetle traps in apple orchards kinda similar. I really wish more of this kind of thing was used in agriculture/industry/politics/social sciences/education/General stewardship of the planet.

My uncle once showed me a trick for trapping fleas in a mayonase lid. he put about a spoon full of dawn liquid in a mayo lid and set it in a corner on the floor under a desk lamp. the fleas where drawn to the heat/light of the lamp and because the way they jump randomly up landing anywhere. when they land in the soap cant escape. the lid works under a south facing window to without a lamp. because the sun.

salt and/or diatomatios earth work as a 3day shake on carpet treatment to desiccate flea eggs, bedbugs.
also I have heard mosquito's,spiders hate oregano because it's aromatic permeation messes with their ability to hunt.

ants on the other hand hate acids like lemon juice, vinegar, boric acid. adding lemon to spray or mixing boric with ants food either sweet syrup or fat works.depending if they are sweet eaters or grease eaters.

with roaches you just gotta kick out the heathen that feeds them.

it wouldn't take much to put together a one spot for green info on how to keep the pest at bay and not poison yourself or spend big bucks on a pest control service.. just a thought!
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no longer valid >iamdenteddisk@yahoo.com

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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:47 am

Had a swarm of flies get in somehow and I doused them with my Windex spray bottle:
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Once I spray them they seem to fly to windows to dry off or escape. Then I douse them!
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Just a little bit of dish washing soap goes a long way! Sometimes I use it on my patio too:
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Imagine having to chase and swat twenty flies at once! I got two or three at a time!

While I was vacuuming up a dozen in the center window, I found a half dozen flying in the other one:
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It took me a couple of minutes to douse all six at once.

Later on some looked like they were frozen in time:
Image
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:26 pm

My $14 bug zapper has helped kill a lot of small flying insects indoors, but the UV bulbs are notorious for burning out.
Either that or they require replacement every year anyhow. Mine lasted a few month less than a year.

I took it apart and got zapped... Should have known it would! It uses capacitors to double voltage which stays hot.
The bulb was flickering and soon died altogether so I decided to use UV LED's instead.

I bought a 15 foot reel of them on Amazon for $13 and they arrived today:
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The 12 volt spool uses almost one amp as tested on my supply.

LED spools can be cut where marked to make shorter strings and connectors can be added:
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Each scissor mark has gold contacts marked + or - for connections. The tape cannot do sharp corners!

Don't forget to buy connectors for smaller lengths!

Here is a strip of 9 LED's cut close to the length of the UV light bulb. I plan to tape one on 4 sides of the dead bulb:
Image
The current is only 40 milliamps for each string I'll use.

Waterproof LED's require that the clear coating be stripped off at the gold dots for the connectors .
I used a razor knife to cut down carefully and peel the covering off carefully!

Connectors unsnap from one side and the gold dots must be placed onto the metal prongs inside.
Image
Make sure that the red side goes to + and black to - or you may get the wiring wrong!
Only one end of the connector will work correctly. The other end can connect to more if needed.

I chose to cut the wires on my first one as a test string for a quick test of the UV LED effectiveness:
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I hung the string behind the zapper to see how it works first as it still kills bugs.

Here it is with just one string of 9 LED's hanging behind it. Plenty bright!
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May just need 2 strings or it will become a nuisance.

Saturday morning I found 3 small bugs in the high voltage wires.

If it does any good, I will make a supply for 12 volts using a capacitor from 120 volts.
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:30 pm

WARNING! The following circuit uses 120 volts AC to create a lower supply voltage. BE CAREFUL!

Here's the 12 volt circuit that will run off of 120 volts coming into the bug zapper:
Image
It is fairly simple, hopefully it can handle about 80 milliamps current.

R1 is a high resistance to discharge the capacitor when power is removed. It prevents plug shocks!
C1 is a 1uF high voltage capacitor rated for about double the AC voltage for safety reasons.


I may add a re-settable fuse and a MOV for safety. If so the fuse would be to the right of the bridge rectifier
to the 12 volt Zener diode. The 25 volt MOV would parallel the Zener diode.
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Re: Battling fruit flies and gnats

Postby burger2227 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:32 pm

After a couple of weeks running the UV LED string with the zapper, the light tube came back alive:
Image
I guess it learned by imitation? Glad I never disconnected the wiring to it!

Meanwhile I have made up two strings to stick back to back on each side of the bulb later on:
Image
The pair of LED strings only use about 77 milliamps current as shown above.

To match them back to back, I just used one connector half end for each short string.
That allows them to be wired back to back with the red and black wires on the same side.

The bug zapper was still killing small bugs even when I only had the UV LED strip on.
Either way, I know that I cannot trust the UV bulb to keep running...DIED AGAIN!
Image

I'll be fixing this after summer and my computer upgrades are done...
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