I’m small but deadly. Just show me where they are breeding and I will feast on them.
As we learned in the ‘FLIES’ section, flies breed very quickly and before you know it you could have a serious fly problem. Traditional fly control is not a good long-term solution because it targets only 20% of the fly population. It’s like a band-aid solution that you keep on reapplying. What if we could get to the root of the problem and nip it in the bud? The good news is that we can and it’s completely natural.
What are fly parasites?
Fly parasites are tiny parasitic wasps, around 2-3 mm in size. They are naturally occurring in Canada and pose no threat whatsoever to humans, livestock, or even other insects. They are very host-specific and their target is a group of flies collectively known as ‘filth flies’. Of this group, there are 2 dominant species that make up the overwhelming majority of the flies in your barn: the house fly and the stable fly.
Natural Insect Control
Fly parasites instinctively search around fly breeding areas - not only on the surface but they can burrow more than 10 cm under the surface as well. When an adult female locates one, she uses an egg-laying device on the end of her abdomen called an ovipositor to pierce a hole through the hard fly pupa casing and inject one or more eggs inside.
The eggs then hatch into larvae and begin feeding and consuming the fly pupa - from the inside! Eventually, this kills the fly pupa before it has a chance to complete its metamorphosis to an adult fly and instead produces a fly parasite! It kills the bad insect, the fly, and is replaced by the good insect, the fly parasite. Natural insect control!
Get to the root of the problem
This is why fly parasites are so effective: they get to the root cause of the problem and deal with it there. They kill the fly pupa before it has a chance to finish its development. By breaking the life-cycle of the fly they don’t give it a chance to become an adult fly and therefore to do any damage.
Let’s face it - it’s the adult flies that are the real problem. They are the ones harassing your animals by constantly biting them and therefore stressing them. This leads to a loss in production and that’s going to hit you hard in your wallet. In the U.S. alone, between 2005 and 2009, agricultural scientists measured an average loss of $2.7 billion per year!
Flies can also be a vector of diseases by spreading contaminated blood or mucus. An infection can easily spread from one animal to another, especially if their immune system is compromised by the stress they are under when constantly attacked by biting flies. Your vet bills can skyrocket and now you’re stressed out too!
Have you ever had a meal or drink with family and friends ruined by the constant and irritating presence of those pesky flies? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enjoy your porch and patio in the summertime? Bugs For Bugs offers a long-term solution to control your flies without resorting to using pesticides and all their negative side effects.
How does it work?
There are four factors that will make using fly parasites a success.
It is best to start early in the fly season. Unlike other companies, we never dictate a start time based on the calendar. The time to begin is after the last heavy frost and when you begin to notice flies. Since Canada has many climate zones, it depends on where you live. However, there are season variations from year to year as well. Some years we get a sudden and quick spring and you should start earlier. The following year it could be the opposite and you could start 6 weeks later. Bottom line: start when you first notice flies. If you begin later, you will need more fly parasites at the beginning and rely more on your IPM strategies.
You must locate all your fly breeding grounds. This is very important. That means going around your facility and analyzing all potential breeding grounds to determine this. Manure is the main culprit, but wet feed, silage, straw, hay, leaves, etc., can rot and decompose and then they can become fertile fly breeding grounds as well. Don’t worry, we are experts in this and we will help you. There is a lot to say to decipher this and we can do a better job explaining this over the phone. That way we will also be available to answer your questions as they arise.
You need to be diligent in releasing the right amount regularly throughout the fly season. As we know, the flies breed so quickly, much faster than the fly parasites. You need to always have a high proportion of fly parasites to flies. If you stop introducing them or forget to do it several times you then open the door for the flies to breed quickly and then get the upper hand. You don’t need any equipment and it is very easy to release them. You just need to do it!
The fly parasites do an excellent job finding and parasitizing fly pupae in the manure and other breeding grounds but it’s unrealistic that they find every pupa. Plus, you may have missed a fly breeding ground somewhere and so the flies breed there unabated. Finally, flies are great flyers (hence the name ‘fly’!) and can easily migrate from nature and neighbouring animal farms, even if they are 2-3 kms away. All this means it’s likely that you will have some flies around. For this reason, it is necessary to assist the fly parasites by having an IPM strategy to deal with those adult flies. Sticky string or sheets, fly bait stations, fly traps, bug zappers, etc., are a good complement to the fly parasites and together they a formidable one-two punch!
I have 10,000 ‘free run’ commercial layers on 100% slatted shallow pit system. I’ve always been sceptical of ‘natural’ methods of fly control. My first flock I had a very bad fly problem. Lots of spraying and cold weather did finally control it, but I knew the next summer I needed a better solution. So I decided to try the Bugs For Bugs method, and Frank got me going early in spring. I could count on 2 hands the flies I saw ALL summer long – no spraying, no fly bait and a lot simpler AND less cost. The best fly control I’ve ever seen! I’m sold on the system.