Moth flies

My house has been taken over by small critters that look like a cross between a moth and a fly. I initially thought they originated in the bathroom, as I always seem to see one while I’m taking a shower (I was beginning to think it was the same one — just a stray who’d wandered in and found the bathroom hospitable enough to stay), but I opened the worm bin the other day to discover a teeming horde of them dining contentedly on something or other in there.

While piddling around on Vancouver’s incomparable City Farmer site (add that one to my list of nonprofits that will be getting a little something in their Christmas stocking this year — I owe my worm bin and my excellent dog waste composter to these folks), I learned that the aptly named moth fly is a common interloper in compost bins. There was no photo, but a Google image search confirmed that my houseguests are, in fact, moth flies — also known as drain flies because of their propensity for dining on the muck that collects in household drains.

They’re neither a moth nor a fly, but they’re harmless (if a wee bit annoying). It appears that they originated in the bathroom and then discovered the delectable smorgasbord in the worm bin and decided to throw a party in there.

Click here to see what they look like.

I think they’re sort of cute, although I will probably follow City Farmer’s advice and toss some baking soda and cover material into the worm bin to discourage them from breeding in there any more. I don’t think my worms should have to share their food with strangers. The flies can grab a snack in the drain. My worms have no such options.

Speaking of compost, the aforementioned dog waste composter is still going strong. As you’ll recall, Ron installed it in mid-January. Nearly 10 months later, it’s not even half-full. I swear, if I weren’t so madly in love with Route 66, I’d run away to Vancouver just so I could hang out with the City Farmer crew. I’ve got to get up there for a vacation one of these years. I am dying to tour the demonstration garden.