Hail the Conqueror; or, Phoebe vs. Fruit Flies

I’ve just come back from a square-off with the fly-infested worm bin. Veni, vidi, vici. Either I wasn’t looking closely enough the last time I checked or the fly population has gone down since then, because the state of affairs weren’t nearly as bad as I had thought.

Then again, I did spend far too much time browsing Google’s results for “what to do about a fly infestation in a worm bin”, where the majority of people weighing in said “It’ll take forever to fix,” so perhaps I was psyching myself up for failure.

I went armed with rubber gloves, a small plastic container, and a water jug. And here’s what I found:

  • The worms look a tad cold (they were all bundled together in a couple of corners) but I’m not sure what to do about it at present. There were also more of them than I expected.
  • The bin was actually decently moist, which was one of my concerns.
  • There was a fair bit of compost in the bottom, which I didn’t expect considering how little I’ve fed the worms in the last few weeks.
  • Aside from a mass of something weirdly puffy and mushy, the only human food to be found were a few tomatoes. Guess the apple peels were a success – though whether this was to the worms’ benefit or the flies’, I’ll never know.
  • It actually didn’t smell very much! And what scents were there weren’t necessarily rotten or gag-inducing.

The whole thing was far easier than anticipated and only took me about 10 minutes to situate. I turned over the bin’s contents, pulling out the suspicious mass (I’m too ashamed to say what I’m pretty sure it is), then covered it with more paper and sprinkled some water over everything. The whole turning-things-over-repeatedly probably upset the worms enough to abate their collective appetite, so I won’t bother putting in any food until this weekend or maybe next week.

I meant to take pictures, but couldn’t really maneuver it with compost-covered gloves.

And what did I learn?

  1. Follow instructions. Every “how to run a worm bin” article mentioned putting scraps into small sections of the bin instead of spreading them over all, and then covering everything with compost or paper.
  2. It’s kind of a shame that my family isn’t in brewing or distilling, because one thing I’m good at is getting things to ferment.
  3. Venus fly traps! Why didn’t I think of that before? I’ve been looking for an excuse to pick up a Venus fly trap. Ah, well. Too little, too late.

Now to wait and see if this worked, or if I made a bigger mess.

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2 thoughts on “Hail the Conqueror; or, Phoebe vs. Fruit Flies

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