MANURE MANAGEMENT: In the summer, the fly life-cycle takes about two weeks: one week for the larvae to develop and one week to pupate before emerging as new adults. Weekly removal and spreading of manure disrupts the fly life-cycle, preventing new adults from emerging in and around the barn. Removing the manure also helps the parasitic wasps, which find fly pupae more easily if the depth of the manure is relatively shallow.
Cleaned Areas: Areas that are cleaned daily or weekly need a minimum number of parasites to patrol the corners and pockets of manure.
Moisture control through good drainage and aeration, will reduce the number of eggs that each fly lays, thereby requiring fewer fly parasites for the same area.
OTHER BREEDING SITES: Calf bedding and wet edges. Any accumulation of wet feed or bedding is a potential fly breeding site if it is allowed to accumulate for more than a week. Calf bedding may be the most important site to place fly parasites. It is important to place fly parasites inside calf hutches because it is unlikely that they will find the front entrance of the hutch quickly enough to kill the first generation of fly pupae.
Wet areas around water troughs and moist areas along the edges of spilled feed or manure piles are also prime sites for growing fly maggots.
Traps. Sticky paper, tapes, or ribbons and bait traps will help reduce the adults fly population without hurting the natural enemies.
Insecticides. Baits do not harm the parasites. For space sprays, recent studies conducted by Cornell University on three 50-70 cow dairy farms demonstrated that weekly releases of 25,000 fly parasites, combined with good manure management reduced fly numbers by more than half during peak season between mid-July and mid-August. Non-residual space sprays with synergized pyrethrins were used by two of the farmers to keep fly numbers below their personal tolerance. Sprays should be timed a couple of days before or after a parasite release. These non-residual insecticides are not as hard on the fly parasites as residual sprays, which will do more harm to the parasites than to the flies.