I realize that on this blog we are mostly sharing the enthusiasm and fervor we feel about farming and living a natural lifestyle. Well of course that makes sense, since we want you to be inspired and excited with us. The reality is, however, like anything else in life, there is a down side. And for me right now, superficial as it is, that dark side is the army of flies we have breeding and hovering on our property. I suppose it can not be helped. We try to clean the goat stalls regularly, compost all the manure and keep things moving around here. But I am learning it is just a law of nature that with livestock, manure and warm weather come flies, lots of them. We tried sticky fly paper as our initial method of eradication. Strands and strands of it hang from the barn ceiling and in front of our porch, (the worst two areas because of the shade). Not a very zen approach I know, the flies get stuck in the paper but soon the papers are full and the flies keep on coming.
Second approach...the wand zapper. It's really terrible, like a big tennis racket for electrocuting flies.
Our third approach the liquid fly bait, which smells like death, is not really what you want hanging on your front porch. It is supposed to trap up to 20,000 flies but after almost a month now it has trapped a grand total of...one fly.
The fourth approach arrived in the mail this week. 5,000 fly predators from Spalding Labs. I must say I have very high hopes for this one, it makes sense and seems holistic/sustainable. I am supposed to wait for a dozen of the 5,000 to hatch inside the package then release them around the most problem areas on our property. The nocturnal fly predators proceed to eat the fly larvae nipping the problem in the bud. The Spalding Lab people are very friendly and after asking you how much land you have, how many animals, and your zip code, they quickly configure how many fly predators you need for your individual situation and for how many months you need to order.
I will receive a shipment of 5,000 once a month for five months. Tomorrow is the day to release them, I can see a bunch of them wiggling around in the package. I'll let you know if it works in a month or so.