Thursday, October 20, 2011

Portland composts! and fruit flies!!

If you live in the city of Portland, you are well aware of the new “curbside-composting pilot program,” which will soon expand to all single-family homes. If you don’t live in the beautiful city of roses, stick with me anyway, this composting is just a segue into the meat of this post. 

Beginning October 31, we will toss all unwanted foods, i.e. coffee grounds, bones, rotten veggies, meat, and even old pizza boxes, into the green carts we now use for yard waste. The city is providing us with these little kitchen pails to collect scraps in the kitchen that then will be emptied into the yard debris cart.

I picked up this compost pail that is aesthetically more appealing. It can be found at Williams-Sonoma for $29.95. For something I have to look at every day sitting on the kitchen counter, I find it much more pleasing, but that’s just how I roll.

In preparation for this new program, here at chez Portland Peeps we started a little early. We were already pretty good at doing our own composting by giving any leftover veggies to our chickens, so this really isn’t that much of a stretch. I’m all for composting and think everyone should do it anyway. I know the city is trying to cut costs, so I wish them luck with that.

Now we have these...

Spotted wing fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii)

Spotted wing fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii)

In case you don’t recognize them, these are fruit flies. Drosophila suzukii. My talented husband photographed them. It’s hard to believe they have all this going on, when in reality they’re the tiniest things with wings ever. He makes them look like something from Empire of the Ants. Huge creatures I would never be able to smack between my hands to kill. 

So does anyone know how in the world to get rid of these little pests? 

Here’s what I’ve tried so far:

Bleach - poured 1/4 cup down the drains for several days in a row. I heard they breed in there.

Fruit - put all fruit into the refrigerator and closed the door tight. They breed in there too. Duh! Why else would they be called fruit flies?

Cleaned - washed all counter surfaces with a mixture of bleach and water.

Still the buggers are flying around my kitchen! Excuse the pun, but they are really bugging me!

Any and all ideas for eliminating them will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


happygirl said...

I can't get over the beauty of the photographs. And, we have them everywhere here in the mid-Atlantic, too. So, I'll be checking to see what you learn. I really need to start composting. I'm so lazy.

Cindy said...

Thanks HappyGirl! My hubby is very talented fur shur! You should check out his web site to see more awesome stuff...

Sue Campbell said...

I have a solution! Put out a few little dishes of vinegar. The flies are attracted to it and then become trapped.

Stopping by after you left such a nice comment at my place. We do appear to have much in common. Only I wish I had your web design skills as well! Great site.

Carmi said...

I got this link off one of the blogs I read. I haven't tried it but it's worth a try.

Cathy said...

Stunning photographs, Cindy. The best solution I've found is putting several little dishes of cider vinegar on the kitchen counter. I hate those little buggers and can't get rid of them fast enough. They appear so quickly if I leave something out on the counter. I always wonder where they come from.
The last market day is this Saturday and there is a Thanksgiving market on November 19, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Sure would love to meet you if you stop by. The market should be filled with great stuff.

Jayme Goffin said...

I've heard about the vinegar too....can you just leave the compost pot outside on the porch? Might keep those critters at bay. Amazing photos!

Janet said...

Put a tablesppon of juice or bit of fruit peel into an empty waterbottle. Bend a strip of paper into a wide paper funnel with a tiny opening and place it into the bottle top. Tape it to the opening it necessary so there is no space around it for flies to escape. The flies will go down the funnel, into the bottle, and unable to find their way back out. Leave it for up to a week. Some warm water and few drops of soap will drown them. Rinse out the bottle, make a new funnel, and repeat as needed.

ohmylemonpie said...

In addition to all of the good advice being offered I have my own solution to the composting thing- we keep our compost bucket not on the counter but in the freezer! No smelly kitchen, no fruit flies...

~ Janis said...

The vinegar works, but putting your compost in the freezer is better! Now that it is really cold here in Vermont, I leave our compost bucket in the garage.
Come vist the herd when you have a chance. We are talking about compost too!