When Spalding Labs contacted me back in 2014 and asked me to try out their Fly Predator product, I have to admit I was intrigued. I had heard of Fly Predators, but never really done much research into them, instead battling the flies using lots of homemade soda bottle fly traps, herbal fly sprays and repellents including herbal wreaths and mason jars filled with mint and vanilla with varying degrees of success, but since each summer we battle flies in our horse stalls, duck house and around the chicken feed, I eagerly agreed to try the Fly Predators out.
I admit I had visions in my head of Fly Predators being these huge flying winged insects that gobble up all the flies - and then force us to get something even bigger to eat them and so on and so on, until we had a herd of armadillos or other such beast to control the larger-than-life flying insects!
But a quick conversation with the owner of the company assured me that Fly Predators are actually tiny winged insects that feast on fly larvae, preventing new flies from hatching, and are not going to bother either our animals or our family. So, I told him I was on board, and several days later a bag of what appeared to be wood shavings and tiny brown larvae appeared in my mailbox.
I followed the instructions on the package and waited until I saw tiny bugs crawling around inside the package - it took just a few days. They looked like little winged ants. I carefully sprinkled some in the corners of the horse stalls and around the run in places where the chickens couldn't get to them (it wouldn't have hurt the chickens any to eat them, but would have completely defeated the purpose of using the Predators for backyard chicken fly control !) You can also hang the bag in the run out of the chickens' reach. This is what the Fly Predator larvae looked like after being outside fro a few days. I guess they all hatched and went off looking for fly larvae!
Then I waited. The Fly Predators don't kill existing flies; they prevent future flies, so Spalding Labs does recommend using some Fly Traps in conjunction with the Predators if you are already seeing adult flies. We had some of those sticky fly strips up, so I counted on those to continue to do their job until the Fly Predators could go to work.
Within a week or so, there were noticeably fewer flies. I even asked my husband who I hadn't told I had put out the Fly Predators if he noticed fewer flies around the horses and he said yes without hesitation. I am happy to report that now, several weeks later, the number of flies we see around the coop and barn are negligible. These Fly Predators really do work.
If you decide to give them a try, you will be asked your zip code, how many animals you have and what kind - and a specialized program will be put together for you. You will receive a new shipment of Fly Predators roughly once a month through the fly season for your zip code for a cost of about $19.95 a month +tax (dependent on your personal needs). I don't know about you, but we were spending that much each month just on fly spray for the horses!
The best part is that the Fly Predators are natural and safe. There's no downside to using them AND they are effective! I highly recommend giving them a try if flies are a problem for you.
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