I tried posting this yesterday...hopefully both of them don't show up.
Ever notice those little "Fruit Fly" looking things buzzing around your reptile enclosures? Wondering what they are? Read on:
Phorid Flies (Pseudacteon), are also referred to as humpbacked flies.are small flies that resemble fruit flies in appearance and are usually tan to dark brown in color. Unlike the common fruit fly, Phorid flies lack the red eye-color fruit flies are known for.
A key identifying trait is that the adult Phorid fly has a distinctive habit of running across surfaces instead of flying when disturbed. Most flies immediately take flight. Phorid flies are also know as coffin flies when found in mortuaries and mausoleums.
The Phorid fly life cycle is: egg, larvae, pupa and adult. Eggs are deposited on or near surfaces of decaying organic matter. The female will lay about 40 eggs over a 12 hour period.. The larvae emerge and feed for several days, then crawl to a drier spot to pupate. The life cycle varies from 14 days to 37 days.
Found in moist or humid habitats, many herp keepers with reptiles requiring high humidity levels are prone to outbreaks of these nasty little flies. However, ideal breeding grounds also exist around water bowls when the substrate becomes damp, as well as any substrate allowed to "stagnate" in moist areas of the habitat.
Although Phorid Flies in of themselves are not a cause for concern, the problem lies in the fact that these seemingly harmless flies often act as a vector for a host of diseases; capable of transferring illness from one animal to the other.
How does one eradicate these pesky little flies? Sprays and pesticides.not on your life!
The first step is to properly maintain your reptiles' enclosure to ensure that those animals that require higher than normal humidity levels also have the proper ventilation to allow for humid rather than stagnant conditions.

Once this is accomplished, ridding these flies is quite easy; although it may take a couple of days.
Unlike common flies, Phorid flies are attracted to light. A very simple and safe (read: No pesticides) method is to purchase a couple of "Fly Strips" (those sticky fly traps that unwind from a little cardboard tube), and hang them in your reptile room (or wherever the flies occur).

Next, mount, suspend, tape (whatever works) a small flashlight so that the beam is shining down the length of the sticky flypaper. Do this for 2-3 days in a row and these pesky little critters will be history.

Good Luck!
~Wade
I tried posting this yesterday...hopefully both of them don't show up. Ever notice those little "Fruit Fly" looking things buzzing ... sticky flypaper. Do this for 2-3days in a row and these pesky little critters will be history. Good Luck! ~Wade

Interesting post Wade. I've tried those no pest strips to no avail. I think I might actually have both fruitflies and what you describe here. I've thought about using DDT on them, but my local garden store is out of stock ; )
Actually, I've thought about using BT, Bacillius Thuringiensis. Its a type of bacterium that preys on insects and doesn't harm higher lifeforms, thats my understanding of it anyway.
Do you, or anyone else here, have any insight about using BT in a terrarium ? Seems like it would be harmless, but I haven't heard enough pros and cons to actually give it a shot yet.
Ryan
Do you, or anyone else here, have any insight about using BT in aterrarium ? Seems like it would be harmless, but I haven't heard enough pros andcons to actually give it a shot yet. Ryan

Ryan,
I don't use BT because there is some controversy as to the safety of the product when used around arachnids (Tarantula's & Scorpions). Having quite a few of both, I don't want to risk it.
From what little I have found out about it though, it does seem to be a safe, effective treatment. Keep in mind though, BT will also decimate any cricket/mealworm populations as well.
~Wade
Keep in mind though, BT will also decimate any
cricket/mealworm populations as well. ~Wade

Damn it, I hate it when I miss the obvious.
Very good point about the feeder insects, there goes my idea. I mainly just put up with them. You did point out something that I hadn't noticed before. The more ventilation my humid tanks have, the less flies I see in them . Another thing I have noticed is that my tanks with peat based substrates have more problems than the humid tanks with pure coconut fiber. Perhaps the ph or composition of coconut coir isn't as friendly to their reproduction cycle ?
Ryan
Hey thanks Wade,
I just got a brazilian rainbow boa from one of the reptile shows in MD. Lately I've been noticing those flies around the tank so this is exactly what I needed. Thats why I like browsing through these messages, never know what you might find.
-RG