These small, harmless (to humans and animals) beneficial insects attack and kill flies when the pest is in its immature pupal stage.
These tiny fly predators are nature’s first line of defense against nuisance flies — including the common housefly. The female predator seeks out a host pupa, drills through its cocoon and lays several eggs inside it. The resulting parasitoids kill the pupa by consuming it.
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The adult stage of this popular biological fly control emerges from its host after two or three weeks to seek out other pupae for its eggs. By destroying filth flies before they can reach the adult stage and lay more eggs, these gnat-sized parasites play an important role in controlling flies around manure piles, chicken coops, corrals, garbage sites or any other place that might harbor flies and their maggots. They are best introduced in early season, before pesky flies have had a chance to flourish. The tiny parasitic wasp does not bite or sting and is harmless to humans, plants and animals.
For best results, start releasing before flies become a problem. Release rates, as with any beneficial insect, depend on several factors. The following guidelines have been successfully tested under normal pest conditions:
- large animals (horse, cow, etc.) – 500 per animal
- medium animals (sheep, goat, etc.) – 250 per animal
- small animals (birds, rabbits, etc.) – 5 per animal
- manure & compost piles – 5 per cubic foot
It’s best to make releases throughout the entire pest season for the following reasons:
- Flies have a much shorter life-cycle than the parasites.
- Flies produce more eggs in a shorter period of time.
- Releasing small amounts of parasites weekly, every other week, or even monthly has proven to be more effective than one large release.
Fly predators will not attack adult flies, thus care must be taken to keep the existing population as low as possible. We recommend using at least one fly trap and perhaps even baits. If a quick-knockdown is required, avoid spraying near the breeding sites where beneficial insects are active. It will do more harm than good.
Along with beneficial insects, you should employ a combination of measures to achieve the greatest reduction of flies: cultural control (sanitation), manure management (disposal) and water management (fly larvae need a moist environment to grow).