Fighting Free-roaming Fruit Flies

The biggest (and most would argue only) drawback to keeping Dart Frogs is escaped fruit flies. There is nothing worse than feeling a fruit fly crawl over your arm or hear your guests comment on the amount of bugs in your house. There is, however, no reason for your house to be crawling with fruit flies no matter how large or small your Dart Frog collection is. Here is a list of a few things I do to keep down on loose fruit flies.

There is nothing worse than dropping a cup full of fruit flies and have them spill all over your floor. Keep a vacuum or shop vac near your tanks. If you have never dropped a cup of flies, don’t worry. You will someday.

Every time you feed your frogs your flies will make a quick dash towards your light and out every crack, vent, and crevice in your tank. For this reason, I have no vents on any of my tanks (they get air flow when I open them up every day). I also seal the none moving parts of my lids with silicon to keep flies from escaping (especially the aquarium lids that have the plastic back).

I also keep a glass of apple vinegar in my frogroom. The flies flock to this cup and quickly drown. I don’t like the smell of vinegar, so I only put an inch or so of it in the corner and change it weekly.

Finally, I allow free-roaming spiders to set-up webs by my tanks. I wipe away any webs that get in my viewing area, but I allow them to create webs out of plain sight.
If these steps are taken, you will find that you rarely (if ever) see any free-roaming fruit flies. Do you have any methods that I haven’t listed? If so, please shoot me a comment with your techniques.


  1. Madison's Gravatar Madison
    October 14, 2011    

    Ive got keeping flies out of your house to a science because of my mother. First I clear my bathroom counter and put cups close by to trap any that get away (usualy never). Then I put a pinch of calcium powder in a tall wine glass. I tap some flies from the culture into a deli cup with a larger diameter to make sure. Then I tap those flies into the long wine glass ( mine is also curvy so theres no escape). From there you can tap them into your tank or into another feeding device. I put mine into a small film canister with a hole in it so the frogs know where the foods coming from making sure no free roaming flies in your tank also because everyone knows PDFs are natures flie vacum. One last thing ill add is that one day you guys should try to sell fly cultures without the flies for over flowing cultures. With food and excelsior because even if it is more money then buying your own ingridients people like me trust your method enough to buy them anyways knowing you guys put it together perfect. Just trying to help thanks!

  2. Madison's Gravatar Madison
    October 14, 2011    

    Oh and also to comment on the person above I live in Jacksonville Florida and this little medetirranian geckos are nifty! theyll also sniff out roach eggs in your house!

  3. Gepetto's Gravatar Gepetto
    July 26, 2012    

    I am thinking about keeping dart frogs, at the moment I have seceral carnivorous plants. This includes drosera capensis, the cape leaf sundew. By itself it catches many flies so would that help?

    • September 4, 2012    

      Generally, most carnivorous plants will not do well in a dart frog vivarium. The dart frogs can easily trample most plants, and many require a winter dormancy period that cannot be provided in a vivarium.

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