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The Mite Thread
#1
Everybody's FF CX's get grain mites sooner or later. Everybody. Let me say that again....EVERYBODY.

Mites and the food mixture we use for culturing fruit flies go hand in hand. Mites are everywhere - on your skin, hair eyebrows. These are not grain mites but you get the idea.

Mites are not bad, you just have to contain and 'live with them'.

Some quick rules:

1. Throw out ALL FF CX's older than 30 days. You can sometimes go over 40 days, but to be safe and provide a more easily recognizable time frame - use the 30 day mark. WRITE your culture date created/made on the fabric covered lid in black sharpie. Mite infestations ramp up after 30 days, somehow - their breeding timetable.

2. Use proper tools for the job. SPLURGE and spend the 15.00 USD for a stack of PLASTIC culture cups and FABRIC coated lids. Do not buy those lids with the little holes in them. Glass jars and pantyhose and rubber bands and mason jars may seem like a good deal, but plastic is actually easier to clean, won't shatter and the fabric lids will be 1000 times more effective than the lids with tiny holes that allow the mites to walk right in. I've used 70 or more plastic lids and cups for over 14 years. The same ones! 
http://www.dartden.com/Thread-mites-pass...icoted-lid

3. Mite Paper! - Use Mite paper available from Amazon or eBay or online. Not expensive and I lay a new sheet under all my cultures every few months. I don't discard the old sheet, I just pile them up and finally throw the bottom sheets away after a year or so. WASH your hands after handling the mite paper. Mite paper is VERY important. Mites touch it and die. I keep a bakers rack of trays that each hold 12 cx cups. Ventilation is also key. You don't want to seal up your cxs in a box or a drawer ect. High humidity and lack of air flow will hurt your cultures.

4. Diatomaceous Earth http://www.dartden.com/Thread-diatomaceo...ood-or-bad

5. Never stack your FF CX cups and don't even let them touch each other. Mites walk. Mites crawl. Mites stroll.

6. Make sure you don't make NEW mite-ridden fly CX's - The most often way, by far, for how you get a mite infested culture is to make your new, fresh cultures FROM Mite ridden CXs. You have to examine and be sure that they are not infested. Are there a few mites in the 'Donor' CX?? Sure there are always some but you want to make sure there are not too many. Learn to recognize mites in the CX's by their brown fluffy piles of sheds, or just looking at the sides of the cup and seeing tiny ROUND white-ish dots moving. Mites always move. 

You can always fill a larger plastic tote box with a little Calcium dust and the pour your donor flies into that an swirl and shake it around knocking a lot of the mites off the flies. MITES RIDE FLIES?? Yep. Like frickin' horses. Then use these newly dusted flies to start your new CXs.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#2
1st rule of 'Mite Club':

Do not let any parts of your flies culture cups touch each other and defiantly no stacking. Touching cups = Mite superhighway

well, actually the 5th rule of Mite Club.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#3
updated this thread
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#4
THIS is the FF (Fruit Fly) CX (culture) Cup you want to buy and use.

Hobby standard - the best thing out there for our purposes.

I've used them for over 12 years....SAME ones over and over. Clean with gloves, hot sink water and a plastic scrub pad. No soap even needed! 

Lids cleaned that way too.

Same cups. 12 years each.


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#5
Don't let the cups touch each other. 

Never stack them on top of each other.


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