My wonderful indoor Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm/composter (totally odorless)
has little, millimeter size, “springers” in the basement swimming pool of “worm tea”
Each tray rests on the contents of the one below so the worms can travel easily up an down. After about 3 months they produce the most wonderfully beneficial vermi-castings for my indoor plants. Fresh food is in the top tray (left) – fresh worm castings are in the bottom one (right).
But if I don’t put enough shredded newspaper on top of the peelings, especially bananas, it can grow fruit flies. The best trap for fruit flies is a wine bottle with its “lees” (a good crossword puzzle word) plus a little water and a drop of liquid detergent so they sink instead of dancing on the surface of the wine.
But they are useful as totally independent and unbiased wine tasters: after one week they conclusively preferred (by a count of the happy drowned carcasses, and after adjusting for time exposed) a medium body Argentinian Malbec to a variety of California and New York Finger lake red and white wines, and even a Mexican Corona beer. Francis Ford Coppola’s designer label Rosso fared very badly!
Meanwhile out in the conservatory my poisonous Oleander insists on producing tropical aphids despite occasional application of so-called ‘insecticidal soap’. Why anyone would ever label product that lists 1% “Active ingredient” and 99% “Other” is beyond me. (or why would I ever buy it?)
They have the strangest 3 tails, plus a big proboscis to suck the flower buds dry (photo below shows one on its back with the damaging nose visible).
Outside on the balcony the ants take care of them and the flowers are great in summer. Next winter I might have to invite the ants in too.
Now, to make matters worse, I’ve just discovered a similar 3 tailed form, but black color, aphid on an orchid from Ikea which has been nicely flowering for the last month (see the black dots on the top flower stems).
FYI, all the bug photos were simply taken by holding my cell phone lens to this simple 50 x magnifier.