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Biological Fly Control

Flies can be a huge problem on a farm especially where the are animals and the abundant moist and protein rich manure provides the ideal circumstances for fly populations to take over a farm.

The worst areas that we see the effects of flies are with them buzzing around the young calves and biting the cows in the milking parlour. Cows and calves become unsettled as the flies buzz around them and bite them as they rest. This can hinder the development and growth in the young calves and hinder the milk production in the dairy cows. Cows make milk when they rest so if they are not getting a chance of a peaceful rest then they wont produce much so much milk. It also makes the milking process unpleasant for both the cows and staff. Flies will commonly bite the cows when they are standing to be milked and this causes the cows to do a bit of extra moving around in the milking parlour and often knocking off the milking machine.

We have installed fans within the milking parlour to try and blow away the flies, however this has had limited effect. The fans do however keep the cows and staff cool and more comfortable in the summer. So this year we have tried something new and different. Biological Fly control by Bestico.

We have been releasing Biowasp, a fly Pupae Parasite. Once dispersed around areas where flies are breeding, the mini wasps will hatch from the pupae within a few days. The Bye-o-Fly mini-wasps reproduce themselves by laying their eggs inside pupae of nuisance flies, which is why they are usually called parasitic wasps. This mode of reproduction stops the development of the fly because the young mini wasp feeds on the contents of the fly pupa. As a result, instead of a fly, a new mini wasp will hatch from the pupa. A female mini wasp kills approximately 100 fly pupae during her lifetime. In short we are breeding good wasps to eat the bad flies!!

We have definitely seen some improvements in fly numbers this year. we still have flies bothering the cows in the milking parlour in the afternoon milking but its definitely better than last year. We hope to see an improvement with less and less nuisance flies each year as we grow and multiply our colonies of biowasps.

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