Little black flies

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Suzle87
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Little black flies

Postby Suzle87 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:47 am

Another day, another worry! I’m hoping you guys can help, I seem to have tiny little black flies in ventress Vivarium. They are driving me insane. I’m presuming my only option is to wash out all his viv and start over with it? I’ve done an apple cider vinegar trap outside the viv but no joy, I’ve got Venus fly traps but they haven’t helped. What are these flies? Why are they here all of a sudden?? Do they bother skinks? I just feel like a terrible lizard mum. They aren’t mites and I’ve seen none of them on him but it’s just not nice is it. Going to order fresh substrate etc now but it could take a little while to arrive with it being Xmas. Help please ☹️ Thankyou
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Re: Little black flies

Postby splashy07 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:55 am

I've gotten what I call 'substrate gnats' that seem to come out of nowhere, usually right after I change out a cage's substrate. Seems they sort of hatch out when the substrate warms up. Great food for my baby mantids so I never gave them much worry. They never bothered any of my lizards. I've also gotten little gray moths usually in summer. just food for someone else, they do the reptiles no harm.
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Re: Little black flies

Postby Suzle87 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:59 pm

splashy07 wrote:I've gotten what I call 'substrate gnats' that seem to come out of nowhere, usually right after I change out a cage's substrate. Seems they sort of hatch out when the substrate warms up. Great food for my baby mantids so I never gave them much worry. They never bothered any of my lizards. I've also gotten little gray moths usually in summer. just food for someone else, they do the reptiles no harm.


Thanks for the quick response, I really appreciate it, I get so worried about things Like this. I’m glad to know it won’t be bothering him too much, I did try to rationalise it with the fact there’s be flies if he was out in the wild, but yes, can’t help but worry.
I’ve found a pet store I can get to tomorrow that stocks the coco coir blocks so hopefully I can get it all changed in the next few days for him. Will just have to try and fit it in after work, worst possible time of the year to happen though as I work in retail so I’m in work everyday til Xmas now!
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Re: Little black flies

Postby splashy07 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:17 pm

The blocks is what gave me the gnats in the first place. You don't have to change the substrate because of them. If they are coming from there they'll just come back in the new stuff. There must be tiny gnat eggs in there or something. It's just something that occurs in that type of substrate. I've also had it with repti bark and anything similar. They may be annoying but absolutely harmless. If they get out they are not the type of gnat that bites you. You may see a few walking around on your windows on warm days. (This is when I collect them for my baby mantises!) To the world they're annoying, but to me they're useful! Hahhaa!!
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Re: Little black flies

Postby mb606587 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:21 pm

Yep, those tiny gnats are harmless as stated above and pretty common. Any time you get new substrate, you can place it in a baking tray in the oven at 250 degrees (121 degrees Celsius) for an hour. That will usually kill off any micro-organisms that may be living in it. While I have not had any issues myself, I have read some testimony from other reptile owners about finding all types of nasty organisms harvested in their substrate, even when sealed from the pet store.
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Re: Little black flies

Postby splashy07 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:31 pm

Yes, I used to bake mine till I found use for the gnats!!! I forgot about that, thanks, mb!
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Re: Little black flies

Postby Suzle87 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:06 pm

mb606587 wrote:Yep, those tiny gnats are harmless as stated above and pretty common. Any time you get new substrate, you can place it in a baking tray in the oven at 250 degrees (121 degrees Celsius) for an hour. That will usually kill off any micro-organisms that may be living in it. While I have not had any issues myself, I have read some testimony from other reptile owners about finding all types of nasty organisms harvested in their substrate, even when sealed from the pet store.


Ahh ok great, il so this with the next batch. Do you do it in batches then? Just thinking the amount I use I couldn’t put in the oven all in one go, so could do it a tray at a time one afternoon maybe. Il perhaps wait til after Xmas now though if it’s definitely no bother to him. Thanks for your advice!
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Re: Little black flies

Postby mb606587 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:46 pm

Yeah I use several baking trays at once. Around here, I can pick up some of the bigger disposable ones from the dollar store. Or you can freeze your substrate by leaving it outside overnight during the winter. I buy my substrate from the hardware store in large bags for around $10. Usually they leave the potting soil and mulch bags outside so they are already frozen solid when I buy them and safe for immediate use.
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Re: Little black flies

Postby splashy07 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:49 am

Just to add, being that I raise insects as well as reptiles, many insect eggs can survive prolonged freezing. Some actually require it to be viable. If you want to be a hundred percent sure, cook 'em!
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Re: Little black flies

Postby mb606587 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:38 am

Aaah seems you are absolutely right. A few species of gnats can survive the freeze. Bake em. Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: Little black flies

Postby Suzle87 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:24 am

Who would have thought something so small could be so blinkin’ resilient!! I will definitely bake it next time. Thankyou!

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