February 2017

Mosquito Dunks For Gnats and Fruit Flies – Revisited

Back in August of 2009 I decided to test out “Mosquito Dunks” as a potential way to get rid of fruit flies and fungus gnats.

My (somewhat vague) memory of the experiment(s) was that there wasn’t an obvious reduction in abundance of gnats and/or fruit flies as a result. BUT, I have recently come across at least a couple of mentions of success with this method from others, so I’m eager to test it out again (and compare to my parasitic nematode experimentation).

Here’s what I really like about Mosquito Dunks (in comparison to nematodes):

  • Dunks are quite a bit less expensive
  • They have a shelf life of who-knows-how-long (MUCH longer than nematodes)
  • It is more of a direct approach (with nematodes you rely on them staying alive, finding/invading the host, and infecting the host with the bacterium)
  • A little goes a long way – pretty sure a single dunk can keep a rain barrel full of water free of mosquitoes for quite some time.

Dunks release the (more…)

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4-Worm Reproduction Reboot – 2-22-17

I had actually planned to post this update a couple of weeks ago (around the same time as my “Culturing Parasitic Nematodes” post), but I ended up getting side-tracked.

While I might not have managed to get my update posted, what I DID do 2 weeks ago was carefully sort through the habitat material in my 4-worm zipper bag system. I had spotted a tiny Red Worm – one much smaller than any of the 4 that had been added – and realized that I must have accidentally introduced one or more cocoons when I added the “living material” during the initial set up process.

{…SIGH…}

By that point the decomposition process in the bag had come along very nicely. There wasn’t much in the way of recognizable food waste, and I even had a little crop of (more…)

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Culturing Parasitic Nematodes

In early January I received a batch of Steinernema feltiae I had ordered just before the Christmas holidays.

I had had a pretty serious outbreak of fruit flies and fungus gnats in my VermBin48 late in the fall (after bringing in a bunch of material from an outdoor bed), and didn’t want to take any chances with my Worm Inn Mega (which as you might recall, doesn’t have a zippered lid).

Given that these nematodes are not exactly cheap, and the fact that there is only so long you can keep them in the fridge, I thought it might be fun to get serious about trying to raise some myself this time around.

The first step in the process involved (more…)

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