A natural & sustainable approach to fly control
Fly control management that reduces fly population year on year.
Effective fly control remains a headache for UK farmers. Apart from the hassle factor, flies have been associated with reduced weight gains and greater incidence of disease.
Biting and nuisance flies around cattle and sheep cause serious disruption to normal routines and can spread some important infectious diseases. This is especially true on dairy farms, where in high season flies can create a very stressful environment for livestock and workers. Getting flies under control is a tough process, but with the right integrated management it can be very effective.
We can supply a fantastic and amazing natural solution involving the distribution of Clover Friendly Flies.
What are Friendly Flies?
In nature flies suffer with parasites just as mammals do. Clover Friendly Flies are pteromalid wasps, also known as fly parasites. They live 10 to 30 days and generally produce 30 to 60 eggs. Cooler temperatures extend their life while it can get too hot for several species in hotter countries.
In the UK we have permission from DEFRA and English Nature to release two indigenous species, Muscidifurax raptor and Spalangia cameroni. At optimum temperatures (around 25oC) Muscidifurax has a lifecycle of around 18 to 24 days while Spalangia has a lifecycle of 21 to 28 days.
These species are not too fussy about which species of fly they will parasite. However, Muscidifurax raptor tends to prefer to parasitise house flies and Spalangia tends to prefer to parasitise stable fly (Stomoxys). Spalangia is a little more active over a greater range of temperatures than Muscidifurax.
Studies have shown that regular release of Spalangia have reduced numbers of stable fly by
25% to 50%.
Using Friendly Flies
The correct use of fly parasites is vital for their effectiveness. The bags we use in the UK contain approximately 50,000 parasitised fly pupae. In deciding how many parasitised pupae to release it is important to bear in mind that the size of fly breeding area is more aligned with fly population than are stock numbers.
We work very closely with the VetTech Service in order to distribute fly parasites on farm. The team will assess the appropriate quantity needed on your holding, along with advice on how to spread them for maximum benefit. This makes sure that you can also be in control of reducing your fly population.
Depending on how active the parasites are when released, peak parasitism usually occurs two weeks after release. In hot weather parasites are active for about one week.