Does Freezing Kill Fruit Flies?
A small bag ‘o’ rotten fruit scraps (containing fruit fly larvae and/or eggs) ready for freezing
Not too long ago, one of our regular readers, George, shared a really interesting (and surprising) tidbit of info about fruit flies. In a nutshell, he has found that these annoying pests seem to be able to survive freezing temperatures!
Given the fact that I recommend freezing fruit/veggie wastes as a means of ensuring the materials are free of viable fruit fly eggs/larvae, and have had (blind?) faith in this approach in general, I knew this was something I needed to look into!
SO, I’ve decided to start with a simple experiment, and then will expand from there as needed. Today I obtained several pieces of well-rotted fruit waste (an apple core, a piece of cantaloupe, and a piece of watermelon) from a section of outdoor worm bed has a lot of fruit flies associated with it. I feel pretty confident, then, that these materials will have at least some fruit fly eggs and larvae.
All I did with the pieces of fruit waste was put them in a small ziplock bag and toss them in my deep freezer. In a few days I will remove the bag and empty the contents into some sort of small container. I will let everything sit for a few days (indoors at room temperature) to see if any fruit flies appear. It will of course be important to make sure there is no chance of fruit flies getting in to the container. I do seem to have a few of them buzzing around in my kitchen and basement, so some extra precautions will certainly be warranted.
If I don’t see any fruit flies hatching out from the materials I will repeat the experiment, but will make absolutely sure there are fruit flies to begin with (by letting some fruit/veggie waste sit exposed in a small container outside until there are clouds of them in the container). If it does seem like fruit flies have hatched out from the frozen material, I will also repeat the experiment just to make sure.
Thanks, George, for the inspiration!
Should be interesting.