Fruit Fly Freezing Update
Mobile fruit fly incubation lab? Let’s open it up and find out.
Last week I started a simple experiment for the purpose of exploring whether or not freezing can effectively kill fruit flies (adults, larvae and eggs) – See “Does Freezing Kill Fruit Flies?” if you missed the post.
After forgetting about the scraps in my freezer for a couple more days than intended (haha), I removed them earlier this week, and proceeded to give some thought to how I wanted to let them sit. Given the fact that, as mentioned, we’ve had some fruit flies buzzing about in the house as of late, I certainly didn’t just want to open up the bag and leave it to sit on the counter (not sure my wife would have been too thrilled about that option anyway! lol).
As you can see in the picture above, I ended up settling on the idea of “sealing” my open bag inside a cardboard box. While I did make an effort to tape up the obvious gaps/openings, I knew the box would still “breathe” quite well. Once taped up, I simply left the box to sit down in my basement for a few days (certainly more than enough time to allow for the hatching of viable fruit fly eggs).
I decided to check on everything today, and found that…drum roll please…not a creature was stirring (ended up feeling pretty guilty seeing all the little lifeless springtails I inadvertently killed off ). No fruit flies flying out or signs of any active larvae in the waste materials. The microbes have done just fine though! There seems to be plenty of new growth in that department.
So, the initial semi-conclusion here is that it looks promising that freezing can indeed kill off fruit flies. Now it’s time to REALLY convince myself!
I’m going to grow an actual thriving fruit fly culture (basically taken care of already thanks to me forgetting a bag of food scraps out on my deck! haha), and will put more material into a larger bag which, once again, will get tossed into the freezer. This time I will likely shorten the freezing time and lengthen the post-freezer sitting time, just to make sure I’m covering the bases here!
I’ll keep everyone posted!