Fly population EXPLODED today!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by msbee, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. msbee

    msbee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2011
    MN
    Over the summer, I've noticed a few flies here and there - especially since I have a new, young flock that are still too little to free range in our yard with the 2yr olds, so the flies hang round the run area. So, I ordered some fly predators that finally (took longer than I'd hoped to get them) arrived 2 days ago, and I spread them around the perimeter of the run area and hung the rest in the bag in the coop. The flies in the coop, where I use pine bedding, DE and barn lime, aren't bad at all, I'm glad to say.

    This morning I sat out there and thought, wow, have those predators been doing their job already? The flies were scarce.

    However, I just went out to check on the girls 6:30PM on the 4th day of this super heat wave - in the upper 90's and more all week...

    I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY FLIES at once EVER! [​IMG]

    This is my 3rd summer raising chickens. There were so many, I could hear them humming in choral unison! There were hundreds hiding in the flowers that hang on the corners of the run!

    I am especially stressed because my chickens are known illegals now, and I have been trying to keep the area as pristine as possible (for a chicken area anyway) while the city council decides the fate of my girls and my life-giving pastime. City council members and interested folks have been stopping by to visit and check it out, but I can't have people over when the flies are so bad!

    I keep the run clean with sand and DE on a daily basis. I pick up any leftover food/feed as soon as they lose interest. What else can I do??? [​IMG]
     
  2. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    Surface spray? Usually most of the flies I get are "dispatched" by me and then fed to the chickens. Annoyingly most of the flies I get are the giant, black, buzzing type that like houses. Not sure the type you have [​IMG]
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    They breed in wet manure and rotting vegetation. You'll have to figure out where they are coming from. It could even be something in your neighbors' yards...
     
  4. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    Newman Lake, WA
    generally in the heat, the flies will look for someplace shady and cool.

    the have taken up residence in my oak trees......
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    The fly predators have been working for us. We keep 2500 hens on deep litter / free ranging with the barn being 100 feet from the house. The past few years the flies have been pretty bad. The ceiling in the egg room would be covered with them, the garage would be full of them, sometimes they would get bad in the house. If I left my truck parked near the barn with the windows open I would be greeted by a swarm of 500 flies inside the truck.

    This year I started spreading fly predators from Spalding Labs in May and have been spreading them monthly. We have about 30 tons of deep litter in the barn. I have a ton of raw manure sitting in a pile at the back of my vegetable garden. I have several compost piles where I compost broken eggs, some manure, and the occasional dead hen. Yet, we hardly have a fly anywhere this year. The flies in the egg room and garage are almost non-existent. The few flies around get picked up by fly tapes.

    I was thinking that maybe the flies just weren't that bad yet... that we had a long cool spring and maybe the flies were only really bad in August of the past few years. Then I drove over to another egg producer's place about two miles from here to see how she was managing her birds in the heat. As soon as I got out of the truck, I realized that I'd better roll up my windows. Flies everywhere... I walked past her egg packing room and the siding was covered with thousands of flies. I opened up the door to her egg room and found it abuzz with flies.
    After I returned home I told my wife that the fly predators were worth every penny we spent.
     
  6. msbee

    msbee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2011
    MN
    I FOUND THEM! They're not surviving in the coop/run area as there's enough DE, sand, and Stall Dry to suck the moisture out of rock. As I was surveying the garden, I walked under a mulberry tree that's been there for ever. The buzz hum was ominous! [​IMG] Every single berry was covered with 4-5 flies. That puppy is coming down tomorrow because I will not have the city council folks or neighbors blaming my chickens for flies!

    ...unless... if I cut it down, do you think they would head for the coop or just fly away...? Augh! [​IMG]

    And, I am using the Spalding Fly Predators. Got my first shipment about a week ago. If I don't cut down the tree, I will definitely hang the next bag of predators in that tree!
     
  7. dragonlair

    dragonlair Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2008
    Maine
    I use the fry predators and love them, but they take a while to work. They have to develop, mate, reproduce and hatch. I use those baited traps made form plastic bags with the hard plastic tops. Those things stink to high heaven, even more so after they have hung a while. I have a couple on the chicken yard, one in the dog area, another in the horse area, and one in the goat area. Those things work incredible, at least up here. They are gross. The flies get in there, lay eggs, die and decompose. The maggots hatch and wander around then die. Its a smelly soupy mess, but the worse it gets, the more flies it attracts!
     
  8. jimmythechicken

    jimmythechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2010
    mansfield
    Quote:yes we use them 2 from home depot they do work great but god do they smell.sat me an my daughter went out to change them out the one in the goat pen was first full to the top with rotten fly's maggets an i droped it an blew u all over me an my girl.came darn close to puking it was nasty.lol
     
  9. msbee

    msbee Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2011
    MN
    Thanks everyone. I bought one of those fly traps today... my dilemma is the stink though... I can't have council members opposed to chickens coming over and seeing/smelling a big bag of rotting flies... We can avoid the mulberry tree though, and if the flies stay over there until the visits are over...

    Where do you think the flies will go if I cut down the tree? They obviously prefer the tree over the coop/run area. It's freaking CLEAN in the coop/run area these days - more so than usual even because of the visits...
     
  10. Cab the Mane

    Cab the Mane Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    They might try your run/coop for a brief period, but clearly they are looking for a more substantial food source, and will quickly move on from thirst and hunger as long as as the run and coop remain well kept as you're already clearly keeping it. Could be a population of weaker flies from that population might stay due to their inability to migrate well... It's hard to say for sure. You may have to deal with it soon anyway if they continue to eat off that tree until there's not enough left to support the population. Hopefully someone with experience can answer the question more surely though. Good luck!
     

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