Fruit Flies at Fermenter

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MuskyDine

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I'm into day four of primary fermentation of five gallons of muscadine wine. Fermentation is very active. Today as I was about to punch down my cap I noticed a fruit fly hovering around the fermenter and realized there was a small gap berween lid and bucket. Is this cause for alarm? I know fruit flies carry the vinegar causing bacteria.
 

vacuumpumpman

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I placed a large fan in front of my fermenter to prevent this issue.

I also was able to put the lids back on with a airlock - due to how much air space I had and I push down more frequently.
 

bkisel

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I've actually found one in my 3 piece airlock but have not noticed any get into the wine itself. Generally see them around the house in August but not that I recall much in any other month.

Is it the CO2 that attracts them to the fermentation?
 

MuskyDine

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I believe I can prevent more fruit flies from getting into the must, but I'm curious about the risk from those that might already be in there.
 

Julie

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You should be fine, just make sure there are none in there now.
 

Scooter68

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IF a fruit fly did manage to get in there - There's not much you can do. Just proceed and keep it completely covered until you move it to a carboy with an airlock. I have muslin cloth covers for my fermenters and I use some stretchy yarn to keep the cloth completely pulled down. A 1yard by 1 yard piece will set you back about $4.00 or less at the local Hobby Lobby. That will make 2 fermenter covers and a number of smaller pieces to use a filters or covers for other container. I don't use the plastic lids anymore on the buckets. They don't completely seal anyway so the cloth is a lot easier to take off and replace.
 

vernsgal

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I always cover my fermenting pail with a damp towel to keep those pesky things out.I'm pretty sure your wine will be fine.
 

salcoco

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the most effective trap I use is a jar with holes pierced in the top. put some fermenting juice or must in the jar. put on the lid. flies enter through holes cannot find way out. refresh as necessary
 

vernsgal

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I find those once in awhile in my bungs on carboys. Better there than in wine! I honestly think they can't get through the bung.
It's that time of year again. Everyone has to take extra care!
 

montanaWineGuy

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I've fruit flies landing in my glass. Gross! I just pick it out and take another sip.
 

Spikedlemon

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I've never had an issue with fruit flies until now. I've seen two, now, by my wine.

My primary is typically under airlock so I'm not too worried about the wine.
It bothers me more that I see something moving out of the corner of my eye.
 

John123john

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Hello! In my case i use banana trap! So what do you need for that! Just buy a few bananas or one ( few if you want to eat :D) ! So then you need take the banana peel, and put it into the bag, then make some holes in the bag and place the bag near the place where fruit flies live! So after few days you see, that this bag will be all filled with fruit flies! Good luck!
 

bkisel

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Hello! In my case i use banana trap! So what do you need for that! Just buy a few bananas or one ( few if you want to eat :D) ! So then you need take the banana peel, and put it into the bag, then make some holes in the bag and place the bag near the place where fruit flies live! So after few days you see, that this bag will be all filled with fruit flies! Good luck!
What size holes and what do you use to make the holes? Thanx.
 

WAC4504

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Fruit flys and bananas

Hello! In my case i use banana trap! So what do you need for that! Just buy a few bananas or one ( few if you want to eat :D) ! So then you need take the banana peel, and put it into the bag, then make some holes in the bag and place the bag near the place where fruit flies live! So after few days you see, that this bag will be all filled with fruit flies! Good luck!
I hate to tell you this but most likely you are cultivating the eggs that are already on the banana skins. If it were me, I would simply place a fan in the area of the fermenter to keep the air moving at a speed that flies can not compete with, problem solved.
 

JohnT

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I put out fruit fly traps made from soda bottles.

Lop off the top of the bottle, invert/insert it into the base. Pour in some wine and add a drop of dish soap. Works like a charm (especially if I give the winery a thorough cleaning first).

I must have trapped dozens and dozens of the creeps! Here is a pic. You can make out the 20 or so floating in the wine...

IMG_20161014_194433_122.jpg
 

Scooter68

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A few years ago I decided to do battle with Japanese beetles that were attacking my cherry trees as well as several other types of bushes around our place. I got the beetle traps and each year i tried placing them further away from my trees. (150 -300 feet) Then I decided NOT to bother with them since I still had them attacking and I still had to spray.
So the first year without the traps - WOW! Very few beetles. Hmm.
Moral of the story - sometimes in trying to keep away pests you wind up actually drawing them in with things like traps. Better sometimes to just deal with the ones that show up. Insects surprise me all the time with their ability to find the food source if it's ANYWHERE nearby.

My suggestion - just deal with keeping them out of your wine must using a cloth cover, airlock whatever. The odd few that show up will leave it they can't get in. Draw in a bunch and one or two might get lucky and find their way in.
 

JohnT

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It is quite amazing how fruit flies propagate..

- Just one fruit fly can lay over 500 eggs.
- Fruit fly eggs take just 30 hours to hatch.
- Once hatched, fruit fly larva take to the air in one week.
- The entire life span of a fruit fly is about 2 weeks.

So the question is this... Where do they come from?

The answer must be from either outside your winery or from the fruit itself (for those that make from whole fruit).

In my case, I have to lean toward the fruit itself. If I consider when the first signs of fruit flies show (on or about day 4), I can conclude that the fruit flies are already in larval form at purchase.

I also have to seriously doubt that the flies are coming in from outside.

When I press, I like to compost my dead skins. I let them sit in a pile for a day or two, then stir the compost with a pitch fork. I notice that when I fork them, there are no fruit flies. You would think that if the flies were coming from the outside, there should be a cloud of them around that pile of skins.

So, I assume that the ecosystem of the fruit flies exists entirely within my winery, making it a sealed fruit fly biosphere.

In this case, I will not attract any more fruit flies by laying out a trap. The existing population is not externally increased (unlike the case of the Japanese Beetles) and will only be decreased by use of a trap.

Anyway, that is my thinking. I welcome hearing what others think about this....
 

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