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Mite problems

Someone contacted me about a major mite problem they were having and I typed an response to them and figured I would share it here:

Wow, sounds like you have a serious mite problem. That happened to me once and I swore to never let it happen again. Mine were so bad they had infested all my tank racks. Here's what I found works:

Get new cultures, it sounds like all your cultures are infested, so anything you try is likely going to be doomed from the gate.

Make and store the new cultures some other suitable place in your house for a while. I store mine on lunch trays with mite paper.

I only make 6 cultures a week, and I have four trays. Number the trays, 1 should only be used for your fresh cultures, 2 should only be used for your 2nd week cultures, 3 should only be used for your cultures on their 3rd week, etc... If you make more cultures than 6, or use something else to store them on, you could extrapolate this method to work for your situation. But routine and control are important parts of eliminating mites, and successful fruit fly production, in my experience.

Next, it is very important that you do not keep cultures past 4 weeks, ever, ever. Throw them out after 4 weeks and this will greatly reduce your chances for mites in my experience.

Lastly, I only use my freshest cultures to make new cultures. There has been some report of cultures crashing due to the genetic bottleneck you could be creating by doing this, although I have not had this problem and I have been using the same cultures for a 3 years now. I would say that when I make cultures, I use one culture to make one new culture. So if I have 6 cultures, I use each one to create one new culture, not one culture to create 6 new cultures. This step could be helping me to avoid the bottleneck issue some others have experienced. This is just what I have found works successfully for me.

As the old saying goes, if you don't think you have mites, you're not looking closely enough. But I've had zero mite problems over the past 3 years since employing this method.

The lunch trays is a great idea. I am going to have to steal that idea.

Mites...meh...everyone has them at some point. No big deal unless you are lazy.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

Mites or no mites I don't toss cultures until the last living fly drops out. The longer the culture, the smaller the fly. I try to get dusted flies to new morph outs as soon as I can.


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