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Thread: Freakin Fruit Flys

  1. #1

    Angry Freakin Fruit Flys

    So, last night, I was looking at the airlock, with my glasses on, lol and a bright light, and noticed some foreign object debris in the airlock....wtf?? Got out my trusty magnifying glass and, to my horror, it appeared I had a couple of bugs in it!! So I removed the air lock and looked even closer and sure enough, two dead fruit flys.
    I of course replaced the airlock and will have to be more careful when opening the bucket for must maitenance. And didn't notice any other dead flys when I gave it a gentle stir. And it smelled, tasted and looked great btw.

  2. #2
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    I've had flies and ants meet their demise in the airlock. So far, no ill effects. I'd try to keep them out of the mead itself though. (Even then, ask Wildoates about the cat mead. Or someone had a ferret swim in theirs...)
    Want to see something added to the GotMead Glossary? PM me! Didn't know we had a glossary? Check the top row of links.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by akueck View Post
    I've had flies and ants meet their demise in the airlock. So far, no ill effects. I'd try to keep them out of the mead itself though. (Even then, ask Wildoates about the cat mead. Or someone had a ferret swim in theirs...)
    Yeah, I've found a number of fruit flies in my air locks with no ill effects to the actual mead. As long as you keep them out of the must and clean/fill your air locks I don't think it'll be a problem...
    L’esprit de l’escalier

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by akueck View Post
    I've had flies and ants meet their demise in the airlock. So far, no ill effects. I'd try to keep them out of the mead itself though. (Even then, ask Wildoates about the cat mead. Or someone had a ferret swim in theirs...)
    LOL yes, saw that thread about the ferret going for a swim.

  5. #5
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    ...fruit fly larvae born into wild grape wine turn out pink... and that batch was the reason I bought and used a wine filter. Still turned out fine.

    My favourite trick to getting the fruit flies to stop licking things they shouldn't is to partially fill a ramekin with vinegar (cider is best) with a drop of dish soap, and plastic wrap over top with a few holes poked in it, they find their way in and can't get out, if they touch the surface, the soap breaks the surface tension and they drown...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  6. #6

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    I suppose these got into the bucket when I had the lid off and I was surprised they would find there way into the airlock. Guess they wanted out really bad, due to lack of oxygen maybe.

  7. #7
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    Actually chances are, they made it through the little holes from the outside... if they were in the bucket it's unlikely that they'd have made it up into it, they would have been attracted to the must and drowned...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  8. #8

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    I'll second the thought that they probably made it through the airlock holes. The nasty thing about fruit flys is that they are frequently carriers of acetobacter but hey, your airlock served it's purpose. That's exactly why you want to use one.
    BJCP Certified Beer Judge since 2003. Owner of Mt. Si Mead Supply.

  9. #9

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    Saved by the airlock. One was alot bigger than the other one. But after looking at the size of the holes in the airlock cap, that's probably how they got in. No worries all is well.

  10. #10
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    I've started using plastic wrap under my airlock caps too, keeps the flies out and also keeps the sulphite solution I use in it from evaporating too...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    I've started using plastic wrap under my airlock caps too, keeps the flies out and also keeps the sulphite solution I use in it from evaporating too...
    I'm going to plastic under all the airlocks today. And try some vinegar/soap in a bowl. They are driving me nuts right now. As soon as the braggot started fermenting, here they came. I found one in my airlock of one of my meads yesterday.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    I've started using plastic wrap under my airlock caps too, keeps the flies out and also keeps the sulphite solution I use in it from evaporating too...
    So how exactly is the gas supposed to escape? I think maybe I'm not understanding your approach.
    BJCP Certified Beer Judge since 2003. Owner of Mt. Si Mead Supply.

  13. #13
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    Plastic wrap under the red cap on an S-lock? I too am curious exactly where the plastic wrap goes...
    Bees stole my signature file!

  14. #14

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    I'm guessing there's one or more tiny holes poked in it? Sort of an "extra layer" of defense?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan K View Post
    So how exactly is the gas supposed to escape? I think maybe I'm not understanding your approach.
    I don't tie it down or anything, just snap a piece under the red plastic cap of the S lock or the big perforated lid in the two-piece airlocks, it's not enough of a seal to prevent gas from escaping but it's enough to keep the little flying buggers out, no pinholes required. I wouldn't do this with a really vigorous fermentation, but it's fine for stuff sitting around in secondary.

    Plastic wrap is also what I do when the caps get lost or broken...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  16. #16

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    Just to throw in my 2 cents or something..

    I work in a restaurant, and fruit flies are hard to avoid even when things are at their cleanest, especially this time of year. They breed in drains, typically, and will feed on any organic matter they can find. Just one can produce a ridiculous amount of eggs....

    Anyhow--if you keep your mead in a basement or just anywhere where a drain might be that doesn't get used much, that might well be where there home is. Not to make anyone paranoid haha--just thought the knowledge might be helpful! Glad the airlock serves it's purpose in more ways than one!

  17. #17

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    So I guess just pour gasoline down all your drains and you should be good to go! For extra peace of mind, set it on fire as you pour.



    (Disclaimer: ...Don't do this... C'mon now.)

  18. #18
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    Oh, I don't have to wonder where the little $&*%@!&'s come from in my house, I have a city-supplied compost bucket in the kitchen that was very cleverly designed with air holes that were supposed to be small enough to keep them out (and we all know how well that works, as soon as it's consistently warm enough outside for them to be happy, they find their way inside)... and especially at harvest times, I process a lot of wild fruits in my house so there is a lot of fruit waste that came in with pests on it, also sometimes I have to leave fruits out to ripen for a few days, and it doesn't take long for the little buggers to find it... Ramekin of vinegar with a drop of dish soap. One by the kitchen sink, one by the wine corner. They love vinegar even more than they love fresh fruit and will quite willingly drown themselves. And when they decide to perch around the edge and not fall in? That's when I get out the vacuum cleaner and suck the little $&*%@!&'s up...
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "Good grief! If someone wanted to murder you, all they would have to do is ship you a 55 gallon barrel of honey and watch you document working yourself to death!" - Vance G
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echostatic View Post
    So I guess just pour gasoline down all your drains and you should be good to go! For extra peace of mind, set it on fire as you pour.



    (Disclaimer: ...Don't do this... C'mon now.)
    Oh, man... I wish you'd put that second bit first.

    Now what am I gonna tell the wife...
    "I said it was good eats, not fast eats."
    -- Alton Brown

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    I don't tie it down or anything, just snap a piece under the red plastic cap of the S lock or the big perforated lid in the two-piece airlocks, it's not enough of a seal to prevent gas from escaping but it's enough to keep the little flying buggers out, no pinholes required. I wouldn't do this with a really vigorous fermentation, but it's fine for stuff sitting around in secondary.

    Plastic wrap is also what I do when the caps get lost or broken...
    Hey, to each his (or her!) own. I figured the water would be enough to keep them from getting in the mead. I haven't even bothered with airlocks on my last three batches.
    BJCP Certified Beer Judge since 2003. Owner of Mt. Si Mead Supply.

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