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Re: Need Help: Flightless Houseflies

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> Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 18:59:08 -0800
> From: Carlo <losco at techie_com>
> Subject: Re: Live Foods Digest V2 #2
> what type of dogfood are you using?  have you tried less and a 
> different kind? Are you using dry food moistened or canned food 
> moistened?  you might try the canned, heard it has worked, never tried > it though.

I was using dry moistened and I've tried the 3-4 brands of dog food and
two of cat food that we feed our animals. I guess I could get a few
samples of other dog food from my mom, but I don't think it'll make a
difference. I didn't think of ever using canned, but I'm desperate to
get a few larvae from this batch of flies so I'm trying it. I wouldn't
want to use canned long term since I'm trying to raise these flies as
clean and odor free as possible. 

> Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 19:27:11 -0800
> From: Stephen Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>
> Subject: Re: Flightless Houseflies
> Sharon, you asked about wingless fly medium growing mold on the last
> live-foods digest.
> I don't raise flies or worms but I do have a suggestion. I think you
> might try sterilizing your medium (dog food) by cooking it. 

I did that with the batch I added sulfur and lime too. It kept a good 
while without molding, but I worried that the sulfur/lime was caustic or
otherwise unsuitable to for flies. When I first got my flies (both fruit
and house) I tried cornmeal based medium and potato flake medium....
Mold. I tried adding honey since honey has a reputation of making things
keep longer... Mold. Heck, I even tried cinnamon in a batch (it's been
used to keep aflatoxin from growing on beans). I don't rember how well
that worked. I was too worried that the cinnamon might be bad for the
fruitflies that were in it, or if not them, then the animals they were
fed to. 
> best way to do that is to cook a batch of it in a pressure cooker and
> then freeze it in small samples. 

I can't justify buying a pressure cooker just to make fly food (though
I'd like to). I don't know anyone who has one I can borrow either.

> I suspect when it comes right out of
> the can, it might already be sterile so if you minimize exposure to air,
> maybe the cooking step won't be necessary. 


>Whatever you use as
> containers, spoons etc should also be sterilized in a similar fashion.
> Minimize exposure to the air after you cook it as there are plenty of
> mold spores in your air; it's inevitable that small amount of these > will get into the medium but do the best you can.

Hmmm, there's an idea. I've kept them clean, but I didn't actually
sterilize them.
> Now the jar that you grow the flies in should also be sterilized. An
> alternative to pressure cookers or boiling is to use bleach and then
> rinse well. I always bleach or wash with hot soapy water 

This I've been doing.

> you need to allow for air (oxygen) to enter but you don't want to punch
> holes in your lid or the mold spores will infect your culture. I think 
> fine cloth rubber banded over the mouth of the jar will let air pass > but catch the spores.

This, too, I've been doing all along. I've used cloth, paper towels and
or facial tissues rubber banded over the jar or other container. 

Unfortunately I suspect part of the problem is my area just has a lot of
mold spore in the air. Maybe it would help if I removed the carpeting in
that room.

Thanks for your advice, Stephen. I really appreciate you trying to help
me out. :)

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