Sunday, November 8, 2009

Super fly.

The common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), is running amock at the winery right now. With a rather large amount of Cabernet sauvignon fermentations all going at once, these annoying little diptera have come out of the woodwork, en masse. This is the same fly, with it's rather short, annoying little life-cycle that is used as a model organism in biology; including the study of genetics because it is easy to take care of, reproduces quickly, and lays tons of eggs. They are apparently very useful: Sister-in-law OTW assures me that they came in very handy when she was reading for her B.Sc at the University of Liverpool. That just may well be the case but I just can't handle them getting biblical on the rim of my glass when I am barrel sampling wine with some visiting dignitary.
Other than using DDT to rid yourself of these bothersome little devils, a relatively easy solution is to leave 'fruit fly traps' lying around, not foolproof but they help. Take a plastic drinking cup filled halfway with preferably still fermenting wine, cover the top with cling wrap, make an opening just big enough for them to crawl in and feed, but not large enough for them to get back out, and bingo! Darwin must have been on to something.

6 comments:

Weston said...

my last chef bought a 1000$ worth of fruity fly traps then quit like couple months later....He ordered a 1000$ worth of the traps because they were a special order so he had to order a numnber of cases....a the life of being a chef not owning the business

Vinogirl said...

Could have saved a lot of money by making just a dozen, or so, himself but apparently he didn't care!

The Wine Mule said...

We don't have them in Biblical quantities in our store, but we do have them, and they are annoying. I think the trap you describe is within our capabilities. Great tip, thanks.

Vinogirl said...

Wine Mule, if you can't get your hands on fermenting wine (neither can I now, everything is dry), boil some sugar and water and add a bit of that to the wine...it's like chaptalising the trap.

Joe Roberts, CSW said...

You can find some pretty cool DIY fruit-fly trap "recipes" on the Internet. Some even with funny "death to fruity" type graphics for the paper cone trap...

Vinogirl said...

Joe, it's surprising how many people don't know about the traps. I took it for granted that the new oenologist, at the winery I work at, knew about them when I asked if he would make about half a dozen for me to dot around various rooms...his blank look confirmed he did not!