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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I know there has been a lot of info. about mites in FF cultures and I know how to deal with them BUT I'v never had mites so I don't know if my FF cultures are actually affected.
What I have noticed is a few small bugs in my feeding container along with the FF's. They are a little smaller than the FF's (melanogaster) but seem to big to be mites. Like little beetles. I'v looked at my cultures but they aren't crawling with these things as I imagine a mite infestation would look like.

Is a mite infestation easily noticable in the FF cultures? And what makes the mites so bad that you have to start new cultures? Do they eat the larva, kill the FF's, consume the media or all of the above?

Thanks in advance!

Sorry, did it again. Feel free to move it to the food forum if you need to :oops:

Discussion Starter · #4 ·

I have had mites in my cultures. They are cream colored, kind of an off white. The shape is somewhat round with small irregularities. They are usually much more prevalent in older cultures but sometimes they're easier to spot in younger cultures since there's not so much crud on the side of the walls. I find that for the most part, I've just learned to deal with mites. They reduce production. They sometimes completely destroy the odd culture. But I have not been able to eradicate and my cultures produce very well and I simply try to seed new cultures with young, newly hatched flies.

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1,604 Posts

Hey Leif,
The mites that infest fruit fly cultures are grain mites. They are everywhere, except Antarctica it seems. People tend to get them by keeping old fruit fly cultures around for a long time. When they get old or rank it gives the mites time to breed and BOOM! You have an overnight population explosion. They are an opportunistic little arachnid and will have a field day in fruit fly cultures. I have spoken to a few researcher via e-mail about them (The Ag industry really hates these guys). My completely unsolicited advice is to throw away your cultures every 30 days. That way you will be ahead of the mites as their reproductive cycle from egg to sexual maturity is a bit longer than that. They love fly pupa, I don't know why, and will decimate a fly population if given the chance. Using flies from what appears to be a "Clean culture" may or may not work. Infected flies carry the mites over into the next culture and do the same. That is why people will complain about lesser and lesser production. My advice is to clean, clean, clean the areas, and start over with a new fresh batch of flies. Do not waste your money on buying mite powder, or sprays or paper. You don't need it. Just be clean, and date your cultures. After 30 days, toss em. That is one of the ways we can guarantee mite free cultures. We don't give them a chance to get started.
My two cents,

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Dave

Are the mites readily visible to the naked eye? The bug I saw was about half the size of a FF.

I might have another thing to add to your great advice. I'v started keeping my culturing area seperate from my feeding area. Before I move a culture that is ready to the feeding area I make a new culture with it in a different area. Might help, who knows.

Thanks again!

BTW, I need to call you about a springtail emergency has kept me from getting back with Ed's
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