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Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 8:38 AM

We've cleaned up, and tried to eliminate any source of food. The fruit flies just won't go away. There were about 40 of them hovering around my donut this morning! Donut contamination is unacceptable.

I've heard of putting out cups of cider vinegar or something like that. I'm looking for a safe, non-toxic solution, as there are people here 24/7.

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#1

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 9:21 AM

I have seen in many restaurants here in south Mexico clear plastic bags filled with water and then hung from the ceiling.

It seems to help somewhat although I really cant imagine why.

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#2

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 10:10 AM

Vinegar with a drop of something like lemon dish soap works great. My mother used this recipe for years.

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#3

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 10:32 AM

I have tried the vinegar it works but is slow. The trick is to cover a small bowl of vinegar (stong smelling dark type) with Saran wrap, then poke some holes with a fork. The flies go in but don't come out. It helps to do a complete clean with lysol

The fastest would be to use this product

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#4

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 10:35 AM

I hate to waste good wine, but this works for us at the bar all the time. We take a few short glasses and put a little wine with just a touch of liquid detergent to break the surface tension. Cover the glass with plastic wrap and puch holes into it with a pencil. This gives the flies something to land on before venturing in, and keeps them inside if they don't go for the wine.

Usually in about three days they're all gone. In the meantime dispose of all garbage daily including covering any containers holding recyclables. They love the sugar and fruit.

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#5

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 2:19 PM

If you've eliminated all food sources, then they might still be attracted by the smell of food. Are you using a fruit-scented air freshener? If you are, change to a different type of scent, such as pine.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 2:55 PM

Fruit flies are a good indicator that there are some rotting fruits or vegetables somewhere nearby. As indicated above remove these food sources (and particularly the related odors) and the flies will be gone.

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#7

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 3:20 PM

Check the sink drains. We have had flies that look like fruit flies live in the sink drains.

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#52
In reply to #7

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 7:09 AM

I doubt that you would see 40 drain flies flying around a doughnut. I it's not their type of cuisine. They are a little larger then fruit flies.

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#8

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 4:59 PM

Hello Bricktop

You could eat the fruit flies.

They are mostly high-quality protein.

Kind Regards....

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#9

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 10:42 PM

Spiders will solve your problem.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 10:56 PM

that's not high tech use robotic spiders

(i like the chemical solution like napalm)

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 10:58 PM

Geckos will also work.

I have heard that oil traps with orange peel grated into them attract them and they cannot avoid oil coating and concomitant suffocation

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#12

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/14/2008 11:10 PM

I discovered that my fruit flies were based in my houseplants. That is where they survived when no fruit was around. So put traps near your houseplants too.

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#13

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 12:09 AM

You can hide but you can't fool the fly

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#29
In reply to #13

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 10:40 AM

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies! 10/14/2008 9:09 PM

You can hide but you can't fool the fly

That story was about CIRCLE FLIES!

MR. GUY

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#14

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 12:16 AM

Hello Bricktop

Which actual fruit fly species are they?

There are various types which eat fruit, or lay eggs in it.

Kind Regards....

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 12:25 AM

So he could set a basket of fruit out side and then open doors and they would leave right ?

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#16

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 12:55 AM

Use a piece of fruit to attract them to flypaper. The dairy sized flypaper strips are really massive and will hold a lot of fruit flies. You will still have the problem, but will be able to be a disinterested observer.

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#17

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 2:22 AM

use this and hear the zip and crackle

http://www2.northerntool.com/outdoors/pest-control/item-168458.htm

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#28
In reply to #17

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 10:36 AM

Agree.

That is the coolest invention ever made, however, I have never seen them used indoors.

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 10:46 AM

What you said is really sad, they should never be used out of doors (in spite of many being designed for just that purpose by thoughtless companies) as it is completely unfair to the environment and "good" flies and moths are also killed as well as possibly bees if it is left switched on by day......

But in a room, they do an excellent job and are just what is needed for the infestation of fruit flies....

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 11:13 AM

After you have lived through black fly, horse fly, deer fly, and mosquito swarms, in northern Ontario, there is nothing more pleasing then the crackle of insects.

It is chemical free, so does not harm the environment.

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#18

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 3:22 AM

You said the problem is in a lab. Pour a little bleach in each of your sink traps. Many flies can breed down there in addition to the common one which has wings that make it look like a little "stealth" bomber.

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#19

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 3:41 AM

Crack open some window and turn off the heat. They don't survive well in the cold...and will become inactive/non-flying. Tell the 24/7 folks wear sweaters for a day or two.

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#20

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 3:46 AM

How about a modest investment in fly-papers?

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 6:06 AM

I agree with the flies coming from the sink theory. Make sure to pour some bleach down all your drains, let sit for a while then flush with lots of hot water. If any of your sinks have a disposal attached you'll need to really clean this well. There are tablets that you drop in the running disposal that really get them cleaned up quite well. They are available at just about any store that sells dish soap.

You say its a lab so I doubt if there are any plants but if there are you need to treat the dirt with an insecticide or get rid of them all together. They'll have to be treated for about a month to get rid of all the eggs that they survivors keep laying.

If it were possible to close the lab for a day. A good bug bomb or 2 would clean them out also.

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#22

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 7:01 AM

Hello Bricktop

I don't know why you are worried about those fruit flies.

They don't eat much, do they?

Kind Regards....

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#23

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 7:20 AM

We used to have a lot of problems with mosquitos and spiders living in our basement (of an older house, kind of like a root cellar). A few years back, my daughter snuck a toad into the basement, and hid him in a crevice in the wall. Lo and behold, the pests all but disappeared! The toad actually lived fat and happy for two years down there.

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#24

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 8:22 AM

Invent something if you're in a LAB! Maybe those creatures are testing you.

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#25

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 8:37 AM

Why not create a Fly Holiday for everyone...

Close the lab tight, fumigate profusely after 12-24 hours utilize all the suggestions submitted and install window screens.

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#26

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 8:56 AM

" Tried to eliminate any source of food"

" Hovering around my donut"

Call 911--the cops will remove the donuts.

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#27

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 9:58 AM

Bait and a vacuum cleaner. By hand a dust buster works pretty good.

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#32

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 11:15 AM

Hi Bricktop,

Here is an adaptation of a device developed by 5th graders in a Taiwanese elementary science project for capturing mosquitoes.

Use a few two liter plastic bottles. Cut the bottles circumferentially about 2/3rd's from the bottom or just below where the small neck balloons to the major diameter. Concoct a cider vinegar solution and pour into the open ended bottle bottom. Then invert the top portion that you cut off and push into the bottom part of the bottle creating the trap. Paint black or cover with dark colored paper and set in a corner. The flies will be attracted by the cider vinegar, one trap will remain effective for about two weeks and occupy thousands of flying critters.

Peace of mind

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#33

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 11:56 AM

about 20 years ago we had that in our office, one guy complained as were all, I got fed up and went through the office and pulled the drawers out of the file cabinets, move the file cabinets on wheels

turn out that the guy that complained the most had an old banana he forgot about had some how fell out of his file (pencil/box/file) cabinet in the back of the drawer and was on the bottom of the cabinet.

once I cleaned that up, the flies disappeared also. find the source and get rid of it.

The cause people 24/7. good luck.

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#34

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 12:01 PM

cut a 2 liter plastic beverage bottle in half; invert the top and put back down into the bottom (creating a funnel).

put in vinegar and a drop of soap. the flies will go in but can get out.

takes a couple of days, but it works.

I suppose red wine would also work.

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 12:19 PM

Hello post #34 check post #32

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#36

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 1:17 PM

Put some honey in a petri dish or saucer. Flies will be attracted better than with vinegar or wine, and they will stick to the honey and not be able to fly off. Clean it out every couple of days and replace until the problem is gone. Or adopt the flies as lab pets/mascots and be done with it...

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 1:23 PM

Adding salt to the vinegar helps too...

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 3:43 PM

Are we catching fruit flies here, or preparing a salad dressing? Could be either at this point...

Oil, vinegar, wine, salt, honey - could even be a respectable marinade. BBQ fruit fly, anyone?

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 3:52 PM

A vinegar/salt mixture can produce C02 which is an attractant for some insects manly mosquitoes

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 4:00 PM

oh I see, get rid of the fruit flies and attact mosquitoes, then attract swallows to get rid the the mosquitoes, then get cats to get the swallows. then get dogs to get the cats. the get bears to eat the dogs, the get fleas to give desease to the bears....now, what to do with the fleas start a circus?????

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 4:41 PM

All of these proposal for methods to rid the fruit flies , when most only live a few days and they need some rotting fruit or vegetative matter around to survive. Get rid of their food source/attractant, and they will be gone soon enough. The real question should be how a real laboratory could be so unsanitary as to provide a continuous haven for the propigation of something so specialized and delicate as fruit flies. What else is wandering around that lab? How much cross-contaminantion occurs there? hopefully it is not a lab that would be providing low level analytical testing for any of my sites.

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 4:57 PM

post #33

I thought it was humorous, but was a poor attempt. at least I laughed and still am

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#53
In reply to #41

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 7:14 AM

Well, we don't test anything that you ingest, but perhaps fly in.

The real problem is that people all but live here, manned 24/7 365, and, no, I can't shut it down even for a day. They're all fruit eaters here, and some are slobs. Off the lab is a "break area", some small offices, and a tiny "kitchen". Here lies the problem. I'm totally convinced that somewhere, well hidden, is a fruit fly nursery. Some piece of fruit fell behind or under something, and we just can't find it. After a while it will probably desiccate, and the problem will go away.

I would like to say thanks to all! There are some great ideas here. We mixed up some cider vinegar, with a few drops lemon scented dish soap. It seems to be working very well. However, being the repressed scientist that I am, I endeavor to try many of the suggestions proposed here. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks again!

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 4:42 PM

Yeah right

And now the rest of the story...

The C02 attracts the mosquitoes and into the trap they go, the mosquito and many types of flying bugs will fly near the side of a jar or bottle to find a way out. But with the inverted top they are trapped and the vinegar is not a friendly substance to their exoskeleton.

What to do with the cats, dogs, bears and fleas may need another thread

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 9:20 PM

Do you have also one to catch girls?

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#49
In reply to #44

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 3:07 AM

Which do you prefer high heels, a rabbit food diet or the idea they're meant to please others?

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#50
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Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 3:18 AM

All of the above?

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#51
In reply to #44

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 7:00 AM

The bait is most important...

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#45

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 10:04 PM

In the PCB manufacturing industry, you can get sucking fans with a filter on the front, just place your plate in front of the fan and have the little blighters pulled gently away.

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#46

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 10:19 PM

Buy two jelly donuts. Carry them in to your lab in a sealed container. Remove one, set it on your desk. Take the other one out to the parking lot to enjoy in peace...

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#47

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/15/2008 10:58 PM

Another thing for cleaning sink drains is vinegar and baking soda.The foaming action should help clean them.


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#48

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 2:08 AM

Hello Bricktop

Don't you know that donuts are bad for you.

Have you not yet been advised of this, by the Food Police?

Kind Regards....

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#54

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 7:22 AM

Fruit Fly has a life cycle of about 10 days if you get rid of their food source your problem will soon be ended.

They say a hair dryer works well. Fruit flies are pretty slow so the dryer can suck them in the back and come out fried.

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#55

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 12:41 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but didn't Graucho Marx say, "Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana"?

Sounds like you need to have a GI party. For those without military experience, the GI in this case does not refer to the soldiers, but to the General Inspection they have to prepare for. You move furniture and clean behind and beneath it. You dig into drawers, cabinets, lockers, every nook and cranny, even if they are within larger nooks and crannies. You clean the place from ceiling to floor, wall to wall, front door to back door. You dust, sweep, mop, scrub, and polish if need be.
You don't just clean the building either. You clean all the equipment too, even if you have to remove the knobs off of something to get to the gunk that builds up around them.

In your case, Bricktop, you might not have to get that extreme, but you get the idea. If you can't get the slobs your co-workers to help, call in a professional janitorial service, or if you have a janitor on staff, see if you can get him to bring in some temps for a day or two.

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 3:08 PM

Someone has previously mentioned geckos, but if you don't mind tying a cuban tree frog to your donut, I could send a couple postage due.

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 5:06 PM

donuts don't last long.....especially in an office.

I once got (2) accountants, (4) office assistances, (1) engineer and a guy who happened to be riding his bike past our building, on just one donut.

And I wasn't even trying

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/16/2008 5:16 PM

What kind of hook did you use. I hope you used a steel leader, I haer those accountants can have a nasty little bite, chew through almost anything. I mean nothing like attorneys, but still have to be careful with landing them. I hear they can still bite off people's fingers and hands even long after you land them. Plus all those toxins they accumulate from feeding in the bottom sediments really doesn't make for much of a catch. Best to just cut their gills and cut the line (wouldn't want them to propigate and overstress the native habitat killing off all to good game).

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/17/2008 8:19 AM

the accoutants were small and scawny, legally I should have thrown them back, but I cut them up for bait,................not one thing bit at it.

But it did chase away the fruit flies...........uhmmmmmmm.

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#60

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/19/2008 10:42 AM

Again, some very good idea's that have almost eliminated our bug problem. I made up some traps with the cut off 2 liter bottles, added about a inch of cider vinegar with 2 drops of lemon scented dish soap, and placed them about.

My donut was not attacked this morning!

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#62
In reply to #60

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/19/2008 11:27 PM

My donut was not attacked this morning!

Except by you!

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/20/2008 7:09 AM

don't leave your donuts out in the open like that,

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#64
In reply to #60

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/20/2008 10:33 AM

"My donut was not attacked this morning!"

You must be a slow eater - around here, donuts don't last long enough to attract any flies...

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#61

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/19/2008 6:25 PM

try to pour down the drain some enzimes and let it stay over night and flush good in the morning and instead vinegar try apple cider-smell better

good luck

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#71
In reply to #61

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/27/2008 11:18 AM

We'll add drain sniffing to our daily regimen...

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#65

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/20/2008 7:48 PM

Once again, the problem is self-resolving. Doing nothing is the best way...

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/21/2008 1:18 PM

you never worked in a fruit fly infested office........have you.

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/21/2008 11:50 PM

Depending on what the nebulous (and a probably a bit overblown), made up descriptor, infested, actually means, neither have you...or most others. However, I have been in indoor environments where fruit flies are present...at least for the short time they can remain present and alive. It's far more onerous to try dreaming up some panacea to make them go away suddenly, than to simply let them disappear of their own accord in one or two days or so. Other's have mentioned practical ways - such as reducing temperature or lowering numbers with a vacuum... and removing whatever brought them inside to begin with - but the easiest and ultimately most effective remedy is to simply bide one's time. If you have hands to swat, swat the air. Better still, do what people have long done where air conditioning is not prevalent: fan yourself with a fan...either hand held fold up fan, or oscillating electric fan (if hands are otherwise occupied). The Web does not have all answers...Thank goodness.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/22/2008 11:01 AM

its nice to see someone with your kind of patience. Infested may have been a bad choice of words, but it could be obnoxious so I'm leaving it as infested. Sure fruit flies have a cycle. you wait long enough everything changes.

But to leave alone and do nothing that goes far beyond patience. There are enough distractions to the employees and then working in that environment, removing the cause as post 33 states helps productivity. By not swatting, swallowing, batting, chasing, complaining and thats complaining both ways. And do ones work.

Or maybe I'm old fashioned.

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#69
In reply to #67

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/22/2008 2:29 PM

I had read my post 68 and it sounded like an edge to it, and for that I apologize. this here is a forum, and that post is should only have been an opinion, I again apologize for the edge.

especially with the subject of fruit flies.

phoenix911

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: Our Lab is infested with fruit flies!

10/27/2008 11:16 AM

Seems the norm when relaxation stumbles into and actively motivated debate

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