Need advice on HORRIBLE grossness (don't read if you're bug phobic like me) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 06-02-2010, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously, if you hate bugs, stop reading now.

I mean it, you will be horrified.

Still with me? Great. Last summer, unbeknownst to me, some fruit flies managed to find the diaper pail and lay their eggs in the poopy diapers. I was happily going about my business putting diapers in the washer, when I opened one up and it was CRAWLING with maggots on the inside. Now, I am UBER phobic about bugs in all their stages, and larvae are the worst. It may sound silly, but this was about as traumatic a thing for me as I can imagine (at least with relation to diapering). From that day on, DH has washed all the diapers (switching to disposable was never really an option). I figured it was just a fluke, since we had a mess of flies last summer. I was actually just thinking I might be ready to start helping out with the washing again. But just today I pulled a poopy diaper out of the diaper bag that had accidentally gotten left in it for 4 days, and went to scrape it out into the toilet, and again it was covered in crawlies. This never happened in our old house. I don't know if it's Alabama, or where we keep the diaper pail here, or just coincidence. Whatever the reason, I really need advice on how to prevent this problem. I try to keep the fruit flies under control, but we just can't resist fresh peaches, which bring them into the house. This time, I really hadn't even noticed any fruit flies in the house, but there must have been at least one. Any suggestions that don't involve banning peaches from the house? :

SAHM to Declan (12/12/06) and Blythe (2/9/09)
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#2 of 13 Old 06-02-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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I don't think you need to ban peaches from the house. I really doubt they are fruit flies. Different flies like different "hosts" to lay their eggs in, and I suspect your flies are the kind that like manure/poop (maybe gnats rather than flies, but not fruitflies, anyway.)

My best advice would be to keep your pail tightly closed and wash frequently so that they don't have time to hatch/complete a life cycle.
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#3 of 13 Old 06-02-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Yeah, it's probably just a common housefly or something. Regular washing and a tight lid should help.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#4 of 13 Old 06-02-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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There are flies that look like fruit flies but are "drain" flies. Maybe it could be them, they would be attracted to poop. I think you have to check your drains and make sure there is no open water and I guess they are attracted to the gelatinous coating that can develop inside pipes. It might be related to being in Alabama since it's humid and warm there.
I am grossed out completely by bugs, grubs, larvae too, by the way, lol, but I couldn't stop reading!

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#5 of 13 Old 06-02-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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Maybe you could make your own essential oil fly repellent thingies? Citronella, clove, thyme stuff like that on cotton balls or something? I live out in the country in an older house that is FAR from bug-tight. I feel your pain. I am not a buggy-gross out person typically, but maggots of ANY sort just gross me right out. Talk gagging fit! :Puke I think a snug lid would solve the issue, but our diaper/wiper pail is just that... A bucket with no lid. While we've not had problems with creepy crawlies in there, I think if we did I'd resort to using EOs.
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#6 of 13 Old 06-02-2010, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Drain flies! That must be what they are then! They always congregate near the sink. When I hung a sticky tape over the sink, I caught like 20 of them in a week. I had no idea there was such a thing. I guess it's just coincidence then that they come out at the height of peach season, when it's warmest and most humid, so I always assumed they were fruit flies. Short of harsh chemicals, which I'd (obviously) rather avoid, what can I do to get rid of them? I don't particularly fancy dumping pesticides down my drains.

SAHM to Declan (12/12/06) and Blythe (2/9/09)
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#7 of 13 Old 06-02-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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You could do baking soda and vinegar to get rid of any grime and then bleach for good measure...and do like an OP suggested and use EO's to deter them

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#8 of 13 Old 06-03-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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This page gives some good info. http://www.getridofthings.com/get-ri...rain-flies.htm
I like the test with the tape. Then you can see where they are coming from.
Mainly it seems that you need to scrub the insides of the pipes to remove the gelatinous material and use a snake to get all the hair and anything else out.

Good luck, I hope they are gone soon!

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#9 of 13 Old 06-03-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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Another vote here for using essential oils. My dirty diapers have become infested with ants on occasion (I hate ants...) and I wipe down the lid of the diaper pail with a combo of peppermint EO and olive oil (so the EO doesn't dissipate a quickly). Works.

I am also really glad I have a sanitary cycle on my washer.
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#10 of 13 Old 06-03-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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We were having this problem for a while, and it took some work to combat it. With me, the flies that were going after the dipes were the same ones that were going after the compost bucket (in the kitchen), and the drains in the bathroom.

I was washing every 3-4 days, and having the dipes sit around just caused more problems. So this is what I did: I had to run the dipes through a rinse cycle every other day to get rid of the poopies (washing every 3rd or 4th). Keep an air-tight lid on the diaper pail. Get air-tight lids on the compost. Clean the drains. Put out traps in the kitchen, bathroom and nursery. Check every piece of fruit that was not refrigerated, and refrigerate any fruit that was fast-turning (like peaches or other stone fruit). Get religious about taking the compost outside and scraping/rinsing any plates left in the sink.

It took about 2 weeks to get rid of them, but they haven't been back since.

Traps are simple - using a narrow-necked bottle (like a salad dressing bottle, soda bottle or beer bottle), pour in about 1/4 c of water, a few drops of dishwashing soap and shake it really well until it's foamy. Then pour in about 1/4 c of raw apple cider vinegar (I usually use Braggs). The pasteurized stuff is not as attractive, since it's not active. If you see 20 flies, you'll catch 50 or more... I was amazed at the sheer numbers I caught this way. Dump the traps and put out fresh about once a week.

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#11 of 13 Old 06-05-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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I would also consider sanitzing my pail every load I do filled with hot water and swish of bleach and let stand just to make sure no larvae or eggs gets left behind on the pail.
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#12 of 13 Old 06-07-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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we are having the same problem. we've only seen the flies in the hamper, but have the other stage (cannot bear to type it..) in the compost bin.
we have been sprinkling food grade DE on the compost bin once it's outside but i have proposed to dh that we have a little jar to put on the compost in the bin in the kitchen. i am trying to figure out if that would be bad at all for the diaps.. i know it's considered very very safe for humans, some people consume it, so i may actually be sprinkling that in our diaper bin. i am also not sure if it affects flies.

eta: we have completely washed the compost bin with peppermint dr bronners, and now are sealing the lid very tightly all the way on. no bugs at this point!
also, a fly strip seems to catch lots of them.

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#13 of 13 Old 08-14-2012, 09:59 PM
 
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I know what you mean. I am usually really good about taking the diapers out. This week I had a cold and just got lazy. When I opened the diaper Genie to take out the diapers...OMG fruit flies EVERYWHERE. Ok so here is what I did and it got rid of them literally overnight (it was a trick I learned about in HS when I went to summer camp and left a rotted bag of cherries in my closet for a week unbeknownst to me until I returned from camp to find my room converted into a mecca for all the fruit flies in the neighborhood). Take out all the trash...all of it. Tie up any food during the day in a plastic bag, or just take it right out to the trash. Take out the trash twice a day at least. Put all food/fruit/any thing edible in pantries and the fridge. Tie up bags of food and put them away. Clean the counters with a vinegar solution or other natural house cleaner. Wipe down the walls with a clorox wipe (they can lay their eggs on the walls) :( at night, put out a glass bowl with steep edges. Fill it 1/2 way with apple cider vinegar. Add three to four drops dish soap. Overnight the flies will have nothing to eat and they will flock to the solution to eat it. They will get drunk and be too weak to fly out and they will drown in the solution. hahaha...you will think. Good luck!!

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