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Fly Predators? Used them? Opinions?

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  • Fly Predators? Used them? Opinions?

    I am very interested in the fly predator concept.

    Not only is it all natural but it takes care of the flys before they become a problem.

    Too good to be true? Anyone have any experience to share?

  • #2
    Yep--LOVE them. I got mine from Spalding Labs. They work wonders on the fly population.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


    • #3
      Lots of threads on them, try a search for more responses.

      I have been using them for many years. Spalding is very helpful and their customer service is great. I highly recommend.


      • #4
        Well, "all natural" is not always "perfectly fine". They could be considered an invasive species, but I'll leave that--they're more good than harm, almost certainly.

        I was not impressed with them the first time I tried, but did use them again last year and do think they helped. We had an unusual amount of house flies last year, which are a different issue than stable flies. But in the end I did achieve good control with a variety of weapons (feed-through, predators, traps, bait, etc.) and did order the predators again for this year.

        I think all by themselves they'd do little, but as part of a multi-pronged program for fly control they're useful.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          This is my 3rd year using them and they're absolutely essential for fly control on my property, although as was already stated, they can't be used alone to control all types of flies. I use a 3-pronged approach, with predators being one of the 3.
          Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


          • #6
            First off, Pteromalid parasitoids can be very useful in a control program, but they will not eliminate your flies. These guys also do not keep a sustainable population in the field and you need to keep releaseing them BEFORE flies emerge until AFTER the fly season is done.

            You need to know

            1) your region, will the species the company sends mix with the region of the country you are from
            2) Your problem, what is your fly problem? are they stable flies? house flies? horn flies? face flies? mosquitoes? gnats? deer flies? horse flies? Fly predators will only work for the muscidae family for the most part, some Calliphoridae but those aren't generally a pest. When do flies emerge in your region? How long will you need to put the parasitoids out for? How many do you need? how will you release them? How will you protect them from other insecticides used at your barn on or the horses (they are very sensitive to those),
            3) Where your pests are coming from, from your neightbors and you? just you? Are your muscid flies breeding in areas on your property and that is why you have flies? If so, could you clean those areas up or use some mechanical or physical method of fly prevention first before spending money on control? (i.e., if you have a manure pile, cover it with a black tarp and flies are excluded, those can can get in will lay eggs but the immatures will die before they emerge as adults becasue the temperature is too high.. plenty other methods of sanitation and cultural control as well)
            4) how many do you have? What method will you use to monitor whether your fly predators are working? traps? fly counts on horses? how often will you sample How will you keep records?

            Here is a link to the basics of an IPM program, of which biological control is part of http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/ipm.htm

            Source: PhD student in veterinary entomology... my dissertation research is on Pteromalid parasitoids (aka "fly predators")

            Feel free to email me at irishtangerine@ufl.edu if you have any questions!


            • #7
              I used them, they seemed to do OK but then the next year red ants came in and ate them all before they could do anything. I live in AZ. Don't bother if you have red ants. DAMN ANTS. But I found out you can use a feed through and do even better here in AZ. That's without having neighbors that have a bunch of flys. If it's just your population the feed through almost wiped them all out at my place.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Amym600 View Post
                I used them, they seemed to do OK but then the next year red ants came in and ate them all before they could do anything. I live in AZ. Don't bother if you have red ants. DAMN ANTS. But I found out you can use a feed through and do even better here in AZ. That's without having neighbors that have a bunch of flys. If it's just your population the feed through almost wiped them all out at my place.
                (I have not read the instructions in several years so this post is based on what I remember from them.)
                I believe the instructions that come with predators include ideas on how to put them out if you have things that will likely eat them before they hatch all the way.


                • #9
                  Yes, there are bazillion threads

                  I started using them in the Spring of '04, maaaaybe '05, and have used them religiously from March-Oct every year. The number of flies are really very minimal here. No, none of them eliminate every fly, but when you can reduce a few species to almost nothing, it makes a huge difference.

                  And yes, there are definitely tricks to putting them out if you have a real predator problem, and that includes hanging them in trees at dusk, so they have a chance to fly out and find the manure of their own accord.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    I love them but i found fly eliminators to be better priced for the same thing. I've used tthem last year and they worked just as well as the fly predators.
                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                    • #11
                      B[QUOTE=deltawave;6932774]Well, "all natural" is not always "perfectly fine". They could be considered an invasive species, but I'll leave that--they're more good than harm, almost certainly.

                      Spalding Fly Predators use three species that are endemic to North America. They are not invasive.
                      Larry Garner
                      Spalding Fly Predators


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Larry. If you're looking for a good debate, there's another predator thread here where a Ph.D. student is doing research on the interaction of predators and feed-through fly control. The topic interests me so maybe you have some new input?

                        Click here before you buy.


                        • #13
                          I've used predators for years, currently from Kunifin Company because I like their service and will replace any shipment if bad weather causes shipping problems....and they will walk you through how to get the most benefit what to do and not do.
                          You have to know how, when and where to use them but correctly handled the flies get less every year, I get comments all the time about how few flies I have.
                          Since they are fly specific I'm not certain how they could cause problems.