Culturing Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are one of the easiest feeder insects to care for. Each 32 oz fruit fly culture includes all the food and water the flies will need for months. The culture will continue to produce flies for at least 2 months. Freshly Started Hydei Cultures will start to produce flies you can feed to your animals in 17-21 days. Freshly Started Melanogaster Cultures will start producing flies in 10-14 days. Each culture has the potential to produce 1000s of flies, but there are a few things that can slow down or stop production all together.

Humidity

Fruit fly cultures are prone to dry out in environments that are under 65% humidity. To maintain humidity, place the culture inside of a clear Rubbermaid container or storage shelving unit to keep the culture from drying out. You can also spray down the culture with de-chlorinated water if it dries out.

Temperature

Fruit fly cultures should be kept between 70 and 80 degrees. If the cultures hit 85 degrees even for a little while, the culture will go sterile and will not produce any more flies. Cultures that are kept under 70 degrees produce much slower.

Mold

Our 32 oz fruit fly cultures are made with a media that has a mold inhibitor already in it. However, if the culture begins to dry out, mold will appear on the top of the media. If mold develops on the top of the media, spray the mold down with some de-chlorinated water and put the culture in a clear Rubbermaid container or storage shelving unit to maintain humidity.

Mold will occasionally develop on the coffee filters or excelsior used in the culture. To prevent this from happening, make sure cultures are away from heater/air conditioner vents. If mold develops on the coffee filters or excelsior used in the culture, remove the portion with the mold on it before starting new cultures from that culture to avoid spreading the mold. Feeding from a moldy culture will not hurt your animals.

Mites

Mites are tiny bugs that love to attack fruit fly cultures. Mites are everywhere, so care must be taken to prevent mites from taking over your cultures. All cultures should be placed on paper towels that are sprayed with a Mite Spray. In addition, the area where the fruit flies are stored should be cleaned regularly.

If mites attack your cultures, it is best to toss all of your cultures and buy new fresh cultures.

Making Fruit Fly Cultures

Supplies:

1. Fruit Fly container and lid

2. Fruit Fly medium

3. Water free from Chlorine – Chlorine will slow the rate of fruit fly production. You can use distilled, RO, spring, etc.

4. Active Baker’s Yeast

5. Coffee Filters or Excelsior - Needed to create more surface area for more flies.

Procedure

Task Tips
Heat up 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water per culture you plan on making. You do not need to boil the water. Just make it pretty hot.
Add 1/2 cup of media to each cup My media has a mold inhibitor in it already so the vinegar is not needed.
Add 2/3 cup of hot water to each cup and stir When your cultures start producing, if the media is runny, then use less water next time. If they dry out, use more water next time.
Wait for the media to cool In a rush I put mine in the fridge for 5 minutes if I don’t want to wait
Sprinkle a pinch of Active Yeast on the culture (optional) Do not put too much Active Yeast on your culture or your media will become soupy. We do not recommend using Active Yeast with our Hydei Fruit Fly Media
Spray the culture to activate the Yeast
Put in some coffee filters or Excelsior for the larvae and flies to climb The number of coffee filters is dependent on your taste and humidity. Coffee filters absorb some of the moisture, so too many can cause your media to dry out and too few and your media will be soupy. With Excelsior, you will want to make sure that all the strands are out of the way of the lid being put on.
Add 50-100 fruit flies For Melanogaster cultures, it is best to use flies from cultures that are just starting to produce. For Hydei Cultures it is best to allow a culture to produce for a few days to a week before starting a new culture with flies from that culture.
Immediately put the lid on your culture

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