Fly Parasites for Fly Control


Fly control is essential around high density production of livestock and poultry as they can be home to a number of fly species. Unfortunately, total elimination of flies is impossible as it’s simply too easy for the flies to feed and reproduce. It is possible, though, to develop programs to naturally manage and control fly populations. For years, livestock producers have looked at fly control as a “one tool” job; the tool usually being some form of insecticide. Today, the choice of effective insecticides has been limited as fly populations are rapidly selected for resistance to most insecticides and these populations are not effectively controlled by many insecticides. New, effective insecticides are few and far between, and usually expensive. There is also far greater regulatory concern about insecticide residues in livestock products, worker health and safety, and environmental impacts associated with the use of agricultural chemicals.


Knowledge of the Pest

Fly parasite life cycle

In order to effectively manage and control fly pests, it is important to understand the breeding habits and life cycles of the key fly pest species. With this knowledge we can help design a site-specific strategy for you.
Adults are attracted to practically all types of organic matter, especially animal feed and manure, broken eggs and dead animals.An adult housefly may live about 30 days and a female can lay up to 900 eggs. She lays her eggs in clusters. Larvae (maggots) use the moist, organic matter as food. After completing their development they crawl to a dryer area where they can pupate. The pupal stage is a resting and development stage in which each larvae develops into an adult fly. The adult fly then emerges from the pupa, which is enclosed in an armored puparium. The entire cycle from adult fly to eggs – to larvae – to adult flies – to more eggs – takes only 7 to 10 days in hot weather.


Fly parasites

Fly parasite stabbing housefly pupae
Fly parasite stabbing housefly pupae
Fly parasites are an effective natural enemy of flies. Frequent releases of fly parasites can drastically reduce common housefly and stable fly populations. Fly parasites search fly-breeding areas for fly pupae containing developing flies. Once a fly parasite finds a pupa, it drills a hole through the casing and inserts several eggs through the hole.
Once inside, the eggs hatch inside the fly pupa and feed on the developing fly and after two to three weeks of feeding, an adult fly parasite emerges to repeat the cycle. Each female fly parasite can kill approximately 100 immature flies in her lifetime.
Beneficial Insectary produces these 3 species: Spalangia cameroni, Muscidifurax zaraptor and Muscidifurax raptorellus.

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