June 15, 2009

Pesky biting flies, a natural solution

It's a fact that when you keep livestock, you have the problem of pesky biting flies. Of course, you can spray pesticides, but those can be harmful to your animals and the environment. Plus, sprays only affect the adult insects, leaving huge populations yet to emerge. Those nasty flies will keep coming back as long as there are manure areas on which to breed. A few years ago, a product called Spalding Fly Predators came to our attention and Betsy, my stable manager wanted to try it out. Fly Predators are tiny beneficial insects that seek out the immature pupa stage of pest flies. The female Predator deposits her eggs in those pupas, killing the immature flies. This is really kind of an amazing process of insect control, which should be repeated every three to four weeks, to help keep that pest fly population in check. Come and have a look.

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When the weather turns warm and the biting flies become a nuisance, Betsy puts fly masks on my Friesians when they're outside in the paddocks.


Photos By Martha Stewart and Eliad Laskin