— The Openherd Team

Lucky Starr Alpacas

Home Grown and Family Owned

Darlene and Steve Woodhurst
1250 Grange Hall RoadCentreville, MD 21617
410-758-8713

Monday, March 9, 2020

It's that time of year again! Fly Time

Well, the weather is getting warmer and spring is in the air. The flies are itching to lay their larvae and increase the pesky fly population.

I have signed up for the fly predators again, as last year they made a huge difference. I am in pasture maintenance mode now, vowing to clean any poo out there and get up the decaying leaves and other vegetable matter that would attract flies to lay their larvae there.

Not an easy task, especially without any farm equipment, remember I am a small farm of 4 alpacas. So for me, it is done by hand, labor for the love of alpacas, oh how I am in love with those girls of mine.

Spalding Lab offers a monthly shipment of fly predators, which are tiny wasp-like insects that do not harm anyone but love to eat Fly Larvae. Once they live their cycle they die, which is why you get a shipment every month.

Last year, these little insects ate their way to my heart. We had a huge reduction in the number of flies we had around the Run-in and in general. It was extremely noticeable and way better than the year before.

I have already scheduled this year's incremental shipment of those wonderful little critters and hope they are happy as "you know what" in the piles of poo and compost we have on our farm.

As long as I have farm animals from Alpacas to chickens, which I have both, I will be signing up for the Spalding labs Fly Predator program.

Tips for combatting the flies that keeping farm animals bring:

1. Clean the poo as best as you can.
I have to do all of this by hand, but if you have the equipment, you can drag a spreader behind
your tractor to break up the piles and then they will dry out so that flies cannot lay their eggs.

2. Make sure you don't have rotting hay or leaves in piles around as the flies will just as gladly lay
their eggs in that mess as well. I have a ton of leaves as my girl's run-in basks under a big
beautiful maple tree

3. Use Fly Predators on all of your piles of poo to eat the larvae that will be laid starting here real
soon as the weather warms up. Flies don't know, that it is not actually spring yet, they just love
the warmth. I faithfully use my fly predators, mainly because I cannot get up all of the leaves etc
that mother nature spreads to mulch the earth.

Enjoy the beautiful weather to come and happy farming.

Dar