Providing Quality Fruit Flies Since 2004
Since 2004, Josh’s Frogs has produced our own fruit fly media and cultures. Demand for both products continue to grow, and we thought we’d share what goes in to providing thousands of high quality fruit fly cultures to the pet trade.
Let’s start by discussing Josh’s Frogs Fruit Fly Media. We are the only company to offer specific medias for the two most popular species of fruit flies – Drosophila melanogaster and D. hydei. Both will do well on either media, but will truly thrive on their specific media. Josh’s Frogs Fruit Fly media is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients to insure the best nutrition possible. Methyl paraben, a food grade ingredient, is used to prevent mold growth. Our media is easy to use, inexpensive, and is known for it’s ability to produce thousands of flies. Demand continues to grow – in 2011, we sold over 11 tons of Josh’s Frogs Fruit Fly media, all produced right here in Owosso, Michigan. By buying ingredients in quantities larger than the average consumer (we buy potato flake by the ton), we’re able to provide a top quality product cheaper than you’d be able to if you made it yourself!
We made and sold over 12 tons of fruit fly media last year!
Making the Fruit Fly Cultures
Every week, staff at Josh’s Frogs makes over 1000 fruit fly cultures. This may seem a daunting process, but it can easily be broken down into several basic steps.
Step 1: Bring water to a boil – we boil filtered water 16 gallons at a time using 4 large coffee urns.
Step 2: Place ½ cup of Josh’s Frogs Fruit Fly Media in a 32oz insect cup.
Step 3: Add 2/3 cup boiling water. We do not mix the water and media – the fruit fly larvae will do that for us!
Step 4: Add excelsior – this provides surface area for the flies to crawl and lay their eggs on. It also keeps the culture intact during shipping.
Step 5: Allow media to cool. We cover the cultures at this point to prevent contamination from flying flies.
Step 6: Add 50-100 fruit flies.
Step 7: Cover culture with a vented insect cup lid.
Caring for Cultures
After the cultures are made, they are incubated in a special ‘bug room’, which is maintained at 78F and a humidity of 70% – optimum conditions for fruit flies. We store the cultures in plastic storage drawers – each drawer holds a dozen cultures, making it easier to transport them around the facility, as well as maintaining the proper humidity in the culture. Paper towels, innoculated with mite spray, are placed in the bottom of each drawer. Between batches, all of the storage drawers are sterilized with bleach.
All of our cultures are incubated at 78F in our bug room.
Every storage drawer is sterilized between each batch of flies.
Josh’s Frogs is the leading producer of 32oz Fruit Fly cultures in the world – we shipped out over 30,000 cultures last year! We strive to provide the pet industry with quality cultures – hopefully, this blog post illustrates the challenges of being the industry leader, and shows how we meet and exceed those challenges.