You’ve got fly mail – those amazing fly parasites have finally arrived. Now what the heck do you do with them?
Your fly parasites will arrive in the egg stage, mixed with wood shavings or sawdust. When you first open the box and hold the bag up to the light you might see a couple of tiny bugs crawling around inside and a lot of black eggs, roughly the size of mouse droppings. Be patient. You want to see a lot more of the wasps moving inside the bag before you unleash them on the pesky flies. It can take anywhere from 2 to 6 days for the eggs to hatch.
When you are ready to release them, you will want to focus on areas around the barn where the animals spend most of their time. In other words, where the freshest piles of pooh are steaming in the hot sun, like the small pastures, around the gates, manure piles and hay rings.
Plus, save a few parasites to sprinkle in the back of the stalls. We would alternate stalls every month.
Note, fly parasites will flit around. They can cover the length of half a football field so keep that in mind when spreading them on the property.
Don’t worry about spreading them where you or your animals hang out. These little guys are very tiny and their sole purpose is to wipe out the annoying flies and not to sting you, your guest or your favorite horse. In fact, except for the depleted number of pest flies, you won’t even know the fly parasites are in the barn.
Schedule your first shipment of fly parasites early in the season to keep the green, black and biting flies from getting out of control by mid-August.
Using fly parasites along with good manure management practices can let you focus more on your animals and less on the pesky flies.