Thursday, May 14, 2009

Living with flies

When you have horses, flies are a horrid nuisance. They bite your horses, lay their eggs in your horses' ears and on their skin, cause problems such as sweet itch, harass humans, and reproduce like crazy.

In the other barns I've boarded at, flies have been a huge problem. At the first barn, stalls were only cleaned two or three times a week (one of the reasons I moved) and the flies were rampant. The second barn had better manure management, but flies were still a problem.

Where I board now, the owner introduced me to something I hadn't heard of before: Fly Predators. They are basically non-biting, non-pest little flies that eat and lay their eggs in pest fly eggs. In other words, it's preventative — Fly Predators don't kill existing flies, but they do decrease the fly population by limiting the number of eggs that make it to maturity.

The barn owner just put them out a few days ago, and I'm interested to see whether they really make a difference this summer!

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