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Re: Need Help: Flightless Houseflies
The big problem with mold control is that the flies themselves get
covered with spores in the contaminated medium, so they carry the
spores with them to the new, sterilized medium.
One thing that might work is to fish some maggots out and wash them
thoroughly, dry them, wash your hands thoroughly and transfer the clean
maggots to sterilized medium. Carry the maggots to another room after
you fish them out, and do the cleaning and transfering in the other room
to avoid any mold spores you might have kicked up by opening the contaminated
Fruitfly maggots, at least, are very tough. When the fruit fly geneticists
transfer genes to the maggots, they soak them in bleach to thin the cuticle
to make it easier to puncture. The maggots recover no problem and go on to
become flies. Amazing but true. I would expect houseflies to have much
thicker cuticle. So depending on how many maggots you can recover, you may
want to experiment with washing some with detergent, rinsing some with a
bleach solution, etc.
It might actually be better to do this with pupae rather than larvae, since
they are easier to find and have an even harder outside shell.
I hope this will help you save your culture. If it works you can just
proceed normally, and only do this again when your last clean culture
gets contaminated with mold.
Best of luck, and let us know what happens.