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.


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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