Fly Parasites

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Fly Parasites (Muscidifurax zaraptor, Spanglia spp) from Planet Natural are small, harmless (to humans and animals) beneficial insects that nature has programmed to attack and kill filth flies when the pest is in its immature pupal stage. The female Fly Parasite will deposit her eggs inside the pupae and once hatched, the tiny parasite larvae consumes the inside of the pest fly pupae. Fly Parasites must find fly pupae in order to reproduce (life-cycle diagram). This need provides a strong and natural incentive to do all the work: search and destroy. Since their only interest is the pest fly pupae, they will not bother humans or animals.

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It is best to release Fly Parasites throughout the season for several reasons: pests produce more eggs in a shorter period of time since their life cycle is much shorter and flies come in from elsewhere. Also, releasing small amounts of Fly Parasites over a period of time (weekly, every other week or monthly) has proven to be more effective than a large release.

For best results, start releasing before flies become a problem. The parasites do not attack the adult flies, thus measures need to be undertaken to keep the existing population as low as possible. Use of traps and baits is recommended. If a short-lived natural pesticide is necessary, try to avoid the breeding sites where parasites are active. It will do more harm than good there.

Along with the fly parasites 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).

Fly Parasite 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 parasites per animal
• medium animals (sheep, goat, etc.) – 250 parasites per animal
• small animals (birds, rabbits, etc.) – 5 parasites per animal
• manure/compost piles – 5 parasites per cubic foot

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Planet Natural guarantees live, timely delivery of our beneficial insects. Instructions for care and release are provided with each order.