Finer Wine Kit Me vs. fruit flies

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Rocky

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Today I started a single batch of FWK Tavola Bordeaux with one grape pack. The last time I made FWK wines, my basement wine area was infested with fruit flies. When I say, infested I mean hundred if not thousands of the little buggers. I have not see so many since I made wine from fresh grapes. I had four sticky tapes covered and two of the apple vinegar/dish soap traps, which I emptied a few times. They were everywhere, even got into the airlock but could not swim through the K-meta!

Everyone that I have talked to about this says it has not been their experience with FWK kits. I assumed the flies came from the grape packs because I had none before I made the wine and none after I was finished with it. I am aware of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy and this may be the case but I really don't think so. I toyed with the idea of nuking the grape skin pack but I was concerned about nuking the seeds resulting in tannin and bitterness. I ordered a trap for fruit flies recommended by Matt at Label Peelers and it will be here tomorrow. I may hang it above the wine area, just in case.

What has your experience been with fruit flies? I know in using fresh grapes, they are common. How about kits, with and without grape skin packs?

Thank you.
 
Fruit flys/ fruit fly eggs seem to get carried in with garden crops. Flies die off in heating season when fresh crops are not available and the environment is dry(ing). If you are running a biology lab you could grow them with mold cultures.
A kit will be commercially sterile and not have any fruit flys. , , , , , This time of year fungus gnats might exist in flower pots. As with fruit flys a control in winter is to dry the potting mix which kills off the molds growing there.
 
Today I started a single batch of FWK Tavola Bordeaux with one grape pack. The last time I made FWK wines, my basement wine area was infested with fruit flies. When I say, infested I mean hundred if not thousands of the little buggers. I have not see so many since I made wine from fresh grapes. I had four sticky tapes covered and two of the apple vinegar/dish soap traps, which I emptied a few times. They were everywhere, even got into the airlock but could not swim through the K-meta!

Everyone that I have talked to about this says it has not been their experience with FWK kits. I assumed the flies came from the grape packs because I had none before I made the wine and none after I was finished with it. I am aware of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy and this may be the case but I really don't think so. I toyed with the idea of nuking the grape skin pack but I was concerned about nuking the seeds resulting in tannin and bitterness. I ordered a trap for fruit flies recommended by Matt at Label Peelers and it will be here tomorrow. I may hang it above the wine area, just in case.

What has your experience been with fruit flies? I know in using fresh grapes, they are common. How about kits, with and without grape skin packs?

Thank you.
you can catch them with cider vinegar in punctured saran wrap covered bowls plus sticky un-coilable insect strips from home depot
 
May I ask what time of the year you made your last FWK kit?
July-August 2022, Paul.

If it were a couple of fruit flies, 40-50, I would accept that it could have another source. The things I know are:
a. it was highly localized in our basement in the wine area. There may have been two or three in the kitchen, which I assume just flew up the stairway.
b. we did not have any fruit flies in the basement or anywhere else until I was making that wine.
c. once I got on top of them with sprays, traps and sticky tapes, they were gone and never returned.
d. we do not keep any fruit or vegetables in the basement and there was no open food down there.
e. I am making two kits now and have not seen a fruit fly.

A real mystery.
 
I would wager that you will see nary a fruit fly if you make a FWK kit now, in February.
I hope you are correct. So far, so good. I have a Bordeaux on at present and all is quiet. What do you suppose brought the fruit flies?

Here are my weapons that I used against them:

I cut a water bottle about 2/3 from the bottom and invert and insert the top in the bottom two-thirds. In the bottom if put cider vinegar and dish soap. Worked like a charm and I emptied them a number of times. I bought the sticky tapes from Amazon and used four of them. They were covered with flies.
 

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July-August 2022, Paul.

If it were a couple of fruit flies, 40-50, I would accept that it could have another source. The things I know are:
a. it was highly localized in our basement in the wine area. There may have been two or three in the kitchen, which I assume just flew up the stairway.
b. we did not have any fruit flies in the basement or anywhere else until I was making that wine.
c. once I got on top of them with sprays, traps and sticky tapes, they were gone and never returned.
d. we do not keep any fruit or vegetables in the basement and there was no open food down there.
e. I am making two kits now and have not seen a fruit fly.

A real mystery.
Same thing happened to me last summer - they magically appeared in the basement without any other food source, that I know of. Vinegar works for sure but it was agonizingly slow. So....I let them settle on my bucket towel, moved like a ninja, and used a shop vac. Two days, done.
 
Same thing happened to me last summer - they magically appeared in the basement without any other food source, that I know of. Vinegar works for sure but it was agonizingly slow. So....I let them settle on my bucket towel, moved like a ninja, and used a shop vac. Two days, done.
Dave, I assume you were making wine at the time. Can I ask how much? I had a lot going at the time, perhaps 12-15 gallons. Did you put anything into your shop vac to kill them? Gives me an idea if I run into the problem again. I think I might put some cider vinegar and dish soap in the help them into the next world.

Based on your experience and the fact that no one saw a problem with FWK, I am beginning to think there was another source but beats the hell out of me what it could have been.
 
Dave, I assume you were making wine at the time. Can I ask how much? I had a lot going at the time, perhaps 12-15 gallons. Did you put anything into your shop vac to kill them? Gives me an idea if I run into the problem again. I think I might put some cider vinegar and dish soap in the help them into the next world.
I had two 3-gallon pear going at the time. Pears were frozen, put into buckets, covered, moved to the basement. At the time I remember being amazed that they found the buckets. I'm thinking they have an incredible sense of smell and made one heck of a journey.
No, I didn't put anything in the shop vac. I put it outside in the sun with the intention of baking them.
Yes, vinegar works but it wasn't fast enough for me.
 
@Rocky Check any doors and windows for crevices or damaged weather strip etc., also check any basement vents to the outdoors like furnace combustion air etc. Some of these vents have only a very coarse rodent screen, even standard window screen is not small enough to keep out fruit flies.
 
I'm thinking they have an incredible sense of smell and made one heck of a journey.
I’m guessing they can smell an over- ripe banana from a mile away. And with their theoretical expansion rate they can probably go from two to “earths dominant living creature by mass” in a few weeks. 😂

At least in my house.
 
UPDATE: So far, so good! Fermentation on the Bordeaux is underway and no sign of the "Foxtrot Foxtrot." (Don't want to say their name out loud because they may think I am calling them.)

I am beginning to think I may have been mistaken for the second time in my life. There was this one time that I thought I was wrong but I was really right.
 
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