I use Arbico Organics Fly Eliminators with excellent results. They are slighly less expensive than other brands and double three of your shipments if you order early. I believe they also offer a free trial bag o' bugs.
I'm a new Spalding customer. I just bought property and pre-empted (or so I thought) the flies with starting fly predators 3 months ago. A few weeks ago, the flies were everywhere; the worst I've ever seen anywhere. I called the company and they were super helpful in figuring out why the flies were so bad and made several (so far, so good) recommendations. They also sent me an extra shipment, because they think the flies are coming from my back fields and not my manure pile, so they want me to spread the predators on my fields and see if that works. Still working on reducing the fly population, so I can't tell you yet if it works.
But I'm happy with the company thus far.
I'm using Arbico for the second year in a row. I use Freedom 45 spot-on on the horses. So far I have been pleased with these products however I am a firm believer in changing products and approachs every few years. I have used rabon blocks, Bug-Off, SimpliFly and just sprays. Just sprays worked the least, the other products worked well. BTW I have 5 horses on 6 acres and am surrounded on 3 sides by horses or cows so flies can be a big issue.
We are always competitive on price when you consider the number of shipments we recommend and the mix of superior species of Fly Predators.
We guarantee quantity by number not by units and we guarantee quality.
Some other things to consider.
We have two entomologists and a horse vet on our staff. They are there to answer questions and insure quality control. We sponsor several horse rescues and associations. We attend several horse events where you can talk to a expert about total integrated fly management.
The average tenure of our customer care staff is 12 years, and they are very knowledgable.
The cheapest price may not always be the best value.
The cheapest price may not always be the best value.
I agree whole heartedly! However, when I was researching this several years back, Spalding was almost double the price of Arbico. I can see now that situation has changed, and Arbico is only a couple of $ difference.
I am very interested in environmental balance and would prefer a more natural approach over chemicals. I would be interested to know how your fly predators fit in to our already crazy mix of bugs here in Florida. An entomologist would be of us in that arena I'm sure.
The three species we use in the Fly Predator mix are natural and indigenous to North Americia.
We overpopulate this bug to control the flies that have been overpopulated from keeping horses.
Fly Predators never get out of balance because the fly is both food and the host for reproduction. Fly Predators must have flies to make a living.
I've used Arbico for years because they were the cheapest. They have excellent customer service as well.
I used Arbico for years as well until I had a really bad experience with thier customer service. I had to involve the owner of the company to get a refund when they overcharged me. After three months and countless emails/phone calls I finally got the refund and an offer for a future discount on next years order, but having to spend so much time on what should have been a simple issue made me realize that it wasn't worth it to continue to give them my business. Been with Spaulding two years now and am happy with the service.
I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet!
I used Arbico for three years; last year they started deducting 10 days before shipping with an excuse it takes that long to process the order??? Anyway, I was curious about Spaulding, and also wanted to switch up the predator species. It does seem that Arbico gives you more volume (not by much, maybe 1/4 ounce, wish I had thought to weigh last year). They also are a few bucks cheaper, and do give you three boosters if you preorder. I'm on my second shipment of Spaulding, and I do appreciate they process the payment when they ship. One thing both my friend (who has been using Spaulding for years) noticed so far this year is that they are not hatching very quickly; I got my second bag last Friday and still no signs of life. The Arbico ones (at least last year) did hatch within a few days, or came already hatching, depending on the heat. If this bag doesn't hatch over the weekend, I'll be calling Spaulding; I don't know why there is an issue with the hatching, and it makes me wonder if all are hatching after I spread them. Jury is still out if one is better than the other as the weather has been wonky here in Michigan.
Been using fly predators for six years now. First few years we used Spaulding. Then, we tried to switch to Arbico because it was cheaper and had nothing but problems with shipments, customer service, and the predators never hatching. Switched back to Spaulding and are very happy.
I use Spaulding, and have also noticed that they've been a little slower to hatch. In fact, with my last batch I had called to request a replacement because it had been close to 12 days, and after I got off the phone, I was going to throw the bag away when I looked and realized they had hatched that afternoon. Called them back and cancelled the replacement shipment. I currently have a batch that arrived last Monday (6 days ago) and they just hatched today. So I do think they are being shipped while the fly pupae (or whatever they are) are a little less mature and take a few extra days.
I love my fly predators from Spaulding. We have 4 horses on 35 actress and have no flies.
"Ponies are a socially acceptable form of child abuse." - said by a friend when asked if she was going to find a pony for her 5 year old daughter.
or Google search insectaries. Plenty of places breed and sell insects for all sorts of things. Spalding spends a lot of $ marketing to the horse industry. So part of what you are paying for is their advertising campaign.
As a general rule, it never hurts to order 2x as many insects as the company says you will need. After that, you need to minimize your use of insecticides on your property. Spreading baby bugs then dousing your horses and barn with permethrin is only going to kill the baby bugs you just paid for.... I have known a few facilities that enforced a strict no pesticide policy (all private, no borders...) and were very successful with predators alone.
But you gotta stop spritzing fly spray all over the place. The baby wasps are very susceptible to insecticides.
Here is the inside scoop. We blend the Fly Predators based on the weather. We know when they will emerge based on a time temperature formulas. Hotter the weather the faster they emerge.
So we calculate the time of travel based on zip code, the temperature at that location and then custom blend the shipments with a few early hatching bugs to act as a alarm bell to spread the rest, that will hatch within a few days where you distributed them.
It is not a perfect timing game but we get pretty close most of the time.