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Fly Parasite FAQ

Q: What are Fly Parasites?

A: Fly Parasites are a small wasp that is a naturally occurring parasite on flies. The word ‘wasp’ infers a stinging insect, which we all try to avoid. However, this negative interpretation should not be the case with this organism. Fly Parasites are very small (less than 0.5cm), fly mainly at night, and do not bother humans, pets, or livestock. They target only fly pupae and do not harm any other insect, plant, or animal. In fact you probably will never see them after you release them. They are called parasites because they lay their eggs in a fly pupae and the immature Fly Parasite uses the fly pupae for food while developing into an adult wasp.

Q: Do Fly Parasites control all flies?

A: The Fly Parasites will effectively control over 95% of flies found around barns, stables, paddocks, and fields. This includes filth flies and biting flies including house flies, stable flies, horn flies, and blow flies. Fly Parasites are not effective in controlling any species of flies that breed in water (such as some black flies and horse flies).

Q: What species of Fly Parasites do you supply and why?

A: In order to attack the greatest number of fly species with the greatest parasitization rate, we supply five different species of Fly Parasites. The Fly Parasite species include Muscidifurax zarapto, Muscidifurax raptor, Muscidifurax raptorellus, Spalangia cameroni and Spalangia endius. Some of the parasites are more effective during the cooler periods while others are more suited to the warmer seasons. We adjust the mixture during each season, however we can custom mix the parasites to individual needs.

Q. When should I start a Fly Parasite program?

A. Two criteria are important here. For outdoor applications the best time to start a program is when the first flies are observed. In open barns, outdoor paddocks, and stables these are usually seen on the south-facing wall of the barn AND the chance of heavy frosts have passed.

In confined areas that are heated year around such as egg laying barns or swine barns, the introduction of Fly Parasites is appropriate at any time. The most cost effective introduction period is immediately after the barn has been cleaned out and the new birds or animals have been introduced. Effective Fly Parasite programs can be started at any time, however once the fly population becomes well established it is more difficult to implement and takes longer to attain control. 

Q: How do I determine the quantity of Fly Parasites needed?

A: Each facility is unique and many factors influence the number of Fly Parasites needed. The type and number of animals are the starting point used to gauge the quantity required but good versus poor manure management, climate, or other livestock in the area all are important factors in deciding what is appropriate for each individual situation. Warmer, more humid conditions will likely require a greater quantity, while cooler, dryer conditions possibly needing less. A larger area and/or an area with more abundant fly habitat will require a greater quantity.

Gaining control of an existing fly infestation will require increased quantities of Fly Parasites and possibly reducing the time between distributions until control is established, depending on the severity of the infestation. Once control is established, normal guideline quantities and frequencies should be sufficient.

Q. How often should I receive shipments and how long in the season should I use Fly Parasites?

A: The frequency of shipments will depend on the size of your farm. If you have only a few animals then shipments of once every 4 weeks may be appropriate. Larger operations normally will receive shipments every two weeks. These shipments should continue until a heavy frost in the fall or until the flies disappear with the cooler weather. Normally this will be in late August or early September in the Prairie and Northern regions and as late a mid October in some of the warmer  regions of Ontario, the Maritimes and  British Columbia.

Q. Where should I release the Fly Parasites?

A: If you have manure pile or manure collection area, then this should be a primary place to release Fly Parasites. Some can also be sprinkled along the fence or paddock lines as well as wet or damp area of the paddocks. Each farm is unique and there is no stock answer to where the Fly Parasites should be released. Check the pages on horsesdairypoultry and eggs or hogs for more detailed release suggestions.

Q: Will the Fly Parasites harm the environment?

A: No. All of the Fly Parasites are naturally occurring in Canada and by releasing the Fly Parasites you are only increasing the population above normal levels. All product shipped has been approved and shipped under an Environment Canada permit.

Q: Why should I deal with Goodbugs.ca?

A: We have been supplying Canadian farmers with a proven environmentally friendly and cost effective method of fly control for just over 20 years. The mixture of Fly Parasite species is very important in overall fly control and we have developed a mixture that is tailored to Canadian farms. Once you have decided on a program, the scheduled shipments are conveniently delivered to your door or mailbox. Finally, Goodbugs.ca has grown mainly by word of mouth and we will work individually with you and solve your fly problems.

We strongly recommend using a method that targets adult flies as part of your fly control program.

Please contact us for a NO OBLIGATION discussion on a customized fly control program utilizing fly parasites (1-888-668-7264).

Fly Parasite Industries

The majority of flies in and around Canadian farms can be controlled using a Fly Parasites program. Below is a list of the most common industries that utilize Fly Parasite programs.

Recent Client Testimonials

We have been using fly predators every Summer for the past 7 or 8 years. I feel very fortunate to have found a reliable, cost effective local source of bugs. I can wholeheartedly recommend not only the bugs themselves as a very effective, environmentally friendly part of a fly prevention strategy, but also Good Bugs as a very reliable and friendly source of predators.

Amanda J Booth - DVM, MVetSc, Dip. ACVIM

Our neighbour was using fly parasites last year and raved about how they worked. We did notice fewer flies last year but thought it was just a natural occurrence. We decided to try the parasites this year and WOW. The flies at both of our barns are so low you hardly notice them - not like in previous years. We have been converted!

Alison Y. - Farmer