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I once read that the addition of shredded newspaper stopped this happening. Worth a try.
Reply to Sheila - Although I'm no compost expert, I think the problem is too little 'brown' matter. That is, too much kitchen waste and not enough garden stuff. The flies are attracted by the aromatics of fruit and veg fermentation so more dead leaves, corrugated paper and prunings may help dilute the fruitiness of the decay.
Hi,I too last looked at a drosophila many decades ago, whilst studying A-level genetics at school! I remember grouping them by wing size, spots or no spots, colour etc. The poor things had 2 weeks of frenzied breeding and eating, only to be unceremoniously chucked out into the garden when we had stared at their offspring!!

I now run a gardening club at a secondary school, where the compost heap in the school garden is rotting away merrily. Whilst developing our wildlife education, we have discovered a simple way to deal with the flying visitors... we have put up a bat nesting box on a nearby wall, and our little fellas eat anything that moves. We have a pile of logs for our local hedgehog, who along with all the frogs who also live in the compost heap, help to keep our slugs on their toes (metaphorically!!) So...... maybe an answer to your chianti floaters might be getting a little help from the other widife. Good luck.

Having the compost crawling with fruit fly maggots brings other insect wildlife with it too. There are lots of predators, mainly beetles (adults and larvae, that feed on the Drosophila grubs. My favourites are the histerids, small (4-10mm) shiny black critters slightly flattened broad rounded globular with thick digging legs to pull through the slimy mess.


Hi I'm having fruit fly problems with our compost bin opposite our back door only 6ft away. The joy of a tiny patio garden! I have heard of the newspaper idea too but got so frustrated that we gaffa taped up the bin to prevent the flies escaping. No, it didn't work! Yes, there is a lot of fruit peelings in there. Any more ideas?
My mother has a problem with large slugs which come into the house at night she has tried salt, and sand trails but is unable to use slug bait indoors as she has pets please can anybody help?
You might have to give up on a compost bin and try one of those stacking wormeries instead.

Reply to slug house. Try the copper tape you put round flower pots across the door threshold. I've never tried it, but it is supposed to create an electric shock to the moist bodies of the molluscs as they try to cross. I'd be interested to hear whether this works.

At work we have fruit flies in a banana plant. Is this the plant or the soil? We don't want to destroy if there is a solution.
Can you help? We have signs of slugs being in the house, not only the kitchen but also the lounge. My wife is house proud and I am at a loss. We don't have a slug problem in the garden. I apologise if this is an inappropriate way to approach you. Regards David
My girlfriend and I have just got a new compost bin. Now we have clouds of fruit flies. I'd really like to get rid of them. (The fruit flies - not the compost bin and girlfriend ;-)) We eat alot of fruit is it worth maybe disposing of some it into the normal wheely bin, to even up the ratio of brown/leaf compost to soft fruit remains? Can anyone recommend any sprays that work. In fact anything that helps. Thanks.
Fruit flies seem to be more annoying than usual this year so, if anyone's still looking for an antidote, from experience, it's not the shredded newspaper per se that's effective but anything that covers the top of the composting material. An old bit of carpet or hessian sack is often recommended. In my black compost bin, I prefer a layer of shredded egg boxes and plain brown cardboard or last year's tomato compost because the little pests live for up to 10 days and clouds used to escape when I lifted the sacking to empty in the contents of my kitchen compost caddy every 3 or 4 days. Also, the shredded material and compost stop the compost getting too wet and are eventually mixed into it.
i have got fruit flies coming out of my compost bin and my water butts - when will they stop? i put water on them they just fly away and just come back there's no end - it's just annoying they never stop do they? joey
Hi, I have a similar problem with fruit flies, however, I don't much care for them and I was wondering if I can put in any other organic material into my compost bin to counteract the flies?

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