Fly parasites: Spalangia & Musciidifurax Mix


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Musca domesticaUnquestionably, the fly plays an important role in nature, but they can still be a terrible nuisance. Although flies can never be eradicated they can still be brought under control, if things are done correctly.  Here at Everwood Farm - which is also an Equestrian facility - we have used these fly parasites for decades and have happy horses with no fly masks or swishing tails, and have reduced the use of wipes and sprays down to when we need to leave the property.  

In addition to Equine facilities, Fly control is essential around high density production of livestock and poultry as they can be home to a number of fly species. Unfortunately, total elimination of flies is impossible as it’s simply too easy for the flies to feed and reproduce. It is possible, though, to develop programs to naturally manage and control fly populations. For years, livestock producers have looked at fly control as a “one tool” job; the tool usually being some form of insecticide. Today, the choice of effective insecticides has been limited as fly populations are rapidly selected for resistance to most insecticides and these populations are not effectively controlled by many insecticides. New, effective insecticides are few and far between, and usually expensive. There is also far greater regulatory concern about insecticide residues in livestock products, worker health and safety, and environmental impacts associated with the use of agricultural chemicals.

fly life cycleWhy Biological control?

Adult flies are attracted to practically all types of organic matter, especially animal manure, wet feed, broken eggs, dead animals, etc.  An adult housefly may live about 30 days and she lays her eggs in clusters. Larvae (maggots) use the moist, organic matter as food. After completing their development they crawl to a dryer area where they can pupate. The pupal stage is a resting and development stage in which each larvae develops into an adult fly. The adult fly then emerges from the pupa, which is enclosed in an armored puparium. The entire cycle from adult fly to eggs – to larvae – to adult flies – to more eggs – takes only 7 to 10 days in hot weather.

Controls which focuses on the adult fly cannot be effective, because - by the time fly control measures have been implemented - the fly  has probably laid her eggs.  In order to effectively manage and control fly pests, it is important to understand the breeding habits and life cycles of the key fly pest species. With this knowledge we can help design a site-specific strategy for you.

How?  Fly parasites are an effective natural enemy of flies. Frequent releases of fly parasites can drastically reduce common housefly and stable fly populations. Fly parasites search fly-breeding areas for fly pupae containing developing flies. Once a fly parasite finds a pupa, it drills a hole through the casing and inserts several eggs through the hole.

Fly Parasite larva emerging from fly egg

Once inside, the eggs hatch inside the fly pupa and feed on the developing fly and after two to three weeks of feeding, an adult fly parasite emerges to repeat the cycle. Each female fly parasite can kill approximately 100 immature flies in her lifetime.

The wasps prefer areas such as damp dung heaps, wet feed, compost heaps, where water is leaking or any place where flies breed.

Fly Parasite larva emerging from fly egg

 

Example Release Rates

Animal Type Quantity per Animal Frequency
Horses 5 - 7,500 per every 5 horses Distributed every 2 to 4 weeks
Cattle, Buffalo 5 - 7,500 per every 5 animals Distributed every 1 to 3 weeks
Goats, Sheep, Dogs 5 - 7,500 per every 15 animals Distributed every 2 to 4 weeks
Miniatures, Burros 5 - 7,500 per every 10 animals Distributed every 2 to 4 weeks
Swine 5 - 7,500 per every 10 animals Distributed every 1 to 2 weeks
Chickens, Turkeys (on wire) 5 - 7,500 per every 2,000 birds Distributed every 1 to 2 weeks
Ostriches, Emus 5 - 7,500 per every 15 birds Distributed every 2 to 4 weeks
Llamas, Alpacas 5 - 7,500 per every 10 animals Distributed every 2 to 4 weeks

Beneficial Insects are shipped within the USA: Lower 48 states only.  Restrictions may apply in specific states.  Please check with your local Extension Service for suitability in your area.
See shipping tab for additional details

All times are Pacific Time Zone
Holiday Shipping Schedules apply to all products.

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Shipping Schedule

Will Call pick-up on Friday's at Everwood Farm:

  • You must have an active Account to use this method.  Contact Us for details.
  • Orders must be processed by Friday for pickup the following week.
  • Model: P5-30
  • Manufactured by: Beneficial Insectary: BioFly

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