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A Fly Infestation

I’m embarrassed to say that when we opened the lid to our worm bin this week, dozens of fruit flies flew out.

The enemy

The enemy

The culprit was probably a melon from my fruit salad last week. (The seeds from the cantaloupe are the only things still recognizable in the compost, except for those darn cabbage leaves.) Not only did they attract fruit flies, but they made the compost too moist. Note to self: a balanced diet includes fruit and vegetables—for worms as well as humans.

So after we buried our food scraps this week, we piled on tons of shredded newspaper. It’ll absorb the water and (hopefully) prevent the flies from getting down to the food. We also put a small bowl of vinegar on top of the lid. We’ll see if that does them in. Flies are notoriously hard to get out of worm bins.

In any case, I think we’ll be harvesting the compost next weekend. The worms are eating everything so quickly that we’re having a hard time keeping up with them, and their waste to bedding ratio is out of whack. I think we’ll transfer most of them to a fresh bin, piled high with newspaper and food.

We’ll leave a few worms behind to put the finishing touches on the compost, but we won’t feed them anymore. As long as we keep the whole thing far away from the new bin, that should starve out the flies. I hope. I’ll keep you posted.


Comment from Sharon
Time August 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm

If you need extra swill (as we called it at home; we composted with pigs instead of worms) just let me know!

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time August 29, 2009 at 11:14 am

I might actually take you up on that. Do you have any newspapers I can steal, too?

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