My Two Bits

That Time of Year: Fly Season

Yes it has rolled around yet again; fly season. With 10 horses and sundry dogs and cats, flies can be a real problem around here. So what do I do? Run around with a fly swatter 24/7 murdering flies? No. Run around with a can of chemical fly spray? No. Read on and I’ll tell you.

First we spread our manure all around the 30 acres. In a single layer it dries quickly and doesn’t provide those nasty flies with mini-manure honeymoon suites. How do we do this? Easy. As we pick the manure out of the stalls we put it in a Newer Spreader. Newer Spreaders are the best thing since sliced bread when you have a lot of horse dooky to deal with.

The next level of attack against the evil flies are fly predators, a completely natural, chemical free solution; I get mine from Spalding Labs in monthly shipments (March – October) of 20,000 predators per shipment (two or three shipments are doubled for a total of 40,000 predators.. these double shipments are for starting off and for July, the height of fly season).

Since the predators’ eggs (the eggs are what are shipped to me) are like cavier to ants I can’t just set them on the ground or sprinkle them around in the stalls or around the barns. Not that there are ants IN my barn, but they would think they were invited to a Rave and take the place over if I didn’t *hang* my predators up. Since I just received my first shipment of the year the other day I had the sealed container in the house until I started seeing the little buggers hatch out and crawling around; which happened this morning. So, I took them out to the barn to release them.

First I found 3 empty plastic tub containers (in this case Electrodex, electrolyte additive we put in the horses feed) and using my handy dandy knife with the box cutter blade

My Handy Dandy Knife

My Handy Dandy Knife

I cut a window on two sides of the tub. Then poked holes on the sides (near the top) between the two windows.

Tub with windows cut

Tub with windows cut

Next I stole… errr borrowed …… some of my husbands bright colored string we use for setting our fence rows or when we need to set out an area for a new out-building, and ran it through the two holes and tied it back to the main line above the plastic tub. And put about one-third of the predator packet into the tub.

Predator Eggs in Tub

Predator Eggs in Tub

Tub with String (look at all those predators that hatched!)

Tub with String (look at all those predators that hatched!)

Next, I tossed the spool of string up over one of the cross beams

String over crossbeam

String over beam

String over beam

and then tied it off to one of the stall front panels

My fancy tie job

My fancy tie job

I hung three up sort of evenly spaced down the center of the barn.

Three Tubs Hanging

Three Tubs Hanging

The predators ‘spread’ by themselves to do what they do…. eat nasty fly larvae.

And now I have my next project to finish which I’ll cover in another posting!

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