Here are a few tips for more effective fly control around horse stables.
Using Fly Parasites is extremely easy. Just open the pouch and spread over the manure pile or along the fence lines. If birds or rodents are an issue, then it is best to make a trench about 2cm (1 inch) deep around the base of the manure pile and spread the Fly Parasites into the trench. Cover them up with about 1-2cm (1/2 to 1 inch) of manure and they will not become bird food. Fly Parasites normally burrow up to 20 cm (8 inches) into the manure looking for fly pupa so they do not have any trouble emerging from under this light covering of manure.
a. Start Early in the Spring with Scheduled Releases
It is much easier and more cost effective to prevent a build up in the fly population than to try and control an established problem. The best time in the spring to start your fly control program is when you notice flies on the south side of the barns AND when the chance of heavy frost has passed. For horse stables, depending on the number of animals, it is recommended that scheduled releases of Fly Parasites are on a two week or four week interval. Releases of Fly Parasites should continue until the first frost in the fall or when flies are no longer a problem.
b. Release an Adequate Number of Fly Parasites
The number of Fly Parasites that need to be released for effective fly control varies from stable to stable depending on sanitation practices, the normal weather patterns and where the animals are kept (confined or in pastures). A starting point for horses in a confined area is about 1200-1500 Fly Parasites per animal every two weeks. This would have to increase slightly for pastured animals. We at Goodbugs.ca will recommend a customized program for your operation.
c. How and Where to Release Fly Parasites
Just open the package of Fly Parasites and sprinkle in areas you have identified that may be high fly breeding areas. The primary area to treat is the manure pile, and then some can be spread along fence lines or of the edges of paddocks. Other areas such as in the barns or along pasture fence lines should be considered if there is a concentration of flies in these areas.
There are two variables with manure that you can most easily change. The first is the quantity of manure; the second is the moisture content of that manure. Once you have decided how best to handle your manure, you will be able to identify areas of your operation where most of the fly reproduction is occurring, and will be able to effectively attack your fly problem.
a. Good Sanitation
Removal of manure and decomposing forage from the paddocks, sheds, and feeding area is the single most effective operation that will reduce fly populations. Once removed from these areas, decisions must be made on what to do with the manure.
b. Remove the Manure from the Site
Hauling manure every two weeks during the warmer months is an excellent option. The manure should be taken at least 800 meters (or 1/2 mile) from the paddocks. If frequent hauling is not practical, then take advantage of the other things you can control about manure; the moisture or to a lesser extent the temperature.
c. Pile in One Location
An effective method of reducing fly reproduction is to pile all the manure in one location. The single pile will reduce surface area for the flies to breed and the heat generated within the manure pile is too hot for flies to survive except for the top 15-20 cm (6-8 inches). It is interesting to note that Fly Parasites have adapted to burrow about 15-20 cm into manure searching for fly pupae. Many farmers have found that covering a manure pile with black plastic increases the temperature within the pile and reduces the surface area available for flies to land on (and breed).
d. Spreading Manure
Flies require a moisture content of 35-70% to reproduce. If you are in an area that has prolonged dry spells, spreading your manure thinly over the fields and pastures is another option. Running a harrow or chain drag over the paddocks or pastures is a good method to break the manure into smaller pieces aiding in the drying process. The danger with this option is that if it rains before the manure dries, you are increasing the surface area for flies to breed. Many stables wait until the cooler months when flies are not a problem to spread their manure.
Fly Parasites will effectively kill developing flies, however they do not attack adult flies. Whether these adult flies originated from your stable or if they migrated another farm, the effect is the same; they will bother your animals and lay eggs. If you reduce the adults, you reduce the number of eggs laid and the Fly Parasites will more effectively attack the developing flies.
Fly traps, fly baits and sticky tapes are all excellent methods to knock down adult flies. Fly Parasites are not attracted to any of the baits, traps or tapes. We do not recommend aerosol or fogging chemical sprays, as these will have a detrimental effect on the Fly Parasites.
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 (1-888-668-7264). We are not after a fast sell, but rather we hope to have a long-term satisfied customer.
Our business has grown across Canada virtually by word of mouth and we welcome all inquiries. Our commitment to you is to create the BEST, MOST ECONOMICAL AND LONG-TERM BIOLOGICAL FLY CONTROL PROGRAM.