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Lucky Starr Alpacas

Home Grown and Family Owned

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


Monday, May 13, 2019

A new approach to Battling the Pesky Flies 2019

New Approach To Battling Flies around Livestock:

This year in 2019, I have decided to add another approach to keeping the fly population down, and under control.

I have been reading about "Fly Predators" for a while now, and this year I decided to try them out. I ordered them from https://www.spalding-labs.com/.

I also ordered their all natural essential oil "Bye Bye Insects", spray, for spraying down the girls with.

Care should be taken to not spray the areas where the Fly Predators have been placed. It will kill them as well, even though it is natural, it is meant to destroy the flies.

NOTE: if you have Free Ranging Chickens, you may need to keep them out of the pastures and the compost bin, garden areas, as they are tasty snacks for our featherbabies....

If you would like more information on the Fly Predators, here is the link to their information page...
https://www.spalding-labs.com/products/fly_control_products/default.aspx

The Bye Bye Insects spray, has these essential oils in them:


This is the link has more information on the Spray:

https://www.spalding-labs.com/products/fly_control_products/fly_sprays/default.aspx


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Battling the pesky Fly issue on our farm

I have found that one of my bigger issues in having livestock is keeping my girls free from the pesky flies.

We have had our girls in our pastures for 4 years now, and I believe I have finally figured out what works in most cases for my situation. Obviously keeping the manure cleaned up is a given, but also treating the areas where the urine and manure were helps.

In my case, I only have three, and realize this won't be practical for those with larger herds, but if you are able to do this and a couple of other things, I believe you can control the fly problem to.

Because of our high water table and mostly clay soil~ I put down 4 X 6 ft rubber mats from my Tractor Supply store, inside the 8 X 12 ft RUN-IN and outside under the overhang cover.

So my regime is this:

1. I clean the run, sweeping etc.

2. Once or twice a month I get a hose and scrub the mats using a
safe all natural product. Using Shaklee's basic H and basic G germicide.
Scrubbing, and rinsing well with the hose.

4. For the potty area after picking up all the manure I can, I then
sprinkle barn lime on the urine areas, then lay about 10 or so
bags of equine pellets around. When they get wet they expand
and this makes it easier to pick up the ALPACA beans. It also
give a fresh clean area so my girls don't tract to much poo into
the run-in.

5. I also rinse my girls down in the summer months paying
particular attention to their hove's, making sure to clean as
much poo as possible off.

The girls fight to get in front of the hose. They just love it.

I also sprinkle diatomaceous earth all over their run-in mats for them to roll In

I still use products like Flies S.W.A.T and another all natural product called absorbine All Natural fly spray. It helps tremendously.

My point in battling flies and other pests is, keep the sweet smell of urine and poo/manure off of my animals, and keep their shelter and surrounding areas as clean as possible, & keeping the smell under control is the best natural way of battling these nasty yet necessary insects...

Take it, I only have 4 alpacas, and many have more. The principle is still the same, but just a bit more work.

I hope this helps others in their quest to find inexpensive ways to combat flies.