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Fly Parasite


Common Name: Fly Parasite

Scientific Name: Order Hymenoptera, family Pteromalidae, Muscidifurax spp. and Spalangia spp.

Size: Adult--approximately 1/8"

Identification: A small black wasp.

Biology and life cycle: This wasp deposits its eggs in the larvae of flies or soon after the fly larva has gone into the pupa stage. The wasp egg soon hatches, and the wasp larvae feed on the developing fly and destroy it. After the larva reaches maturity, it then pupates and soon emerges from the dead fly pupa as an adult to start the generation over. One generation every three weeks. Complete metamorphosis.

Habitat: Wherever flies are attracted to moist, decaying organic material such as rotting vegetable waste, manure, or dead animals.

Feeding habits: Larvae feed on developing flies in the larva and soft pupa stages. Adults draw fluid from fly pupae.

Economic importance: Controlling flies and keeping them from becoming a big nuisance.

Natural control: They serve as their own control, as they reduce the population of their host.

Organic control: None needed.

Insight: These parasitic wasps have biological radar for finding fly pupae. They can be your best friend if you operate a dairy, feedlot, or stable or if you simply maintain a compost pile. If released properly, they can completely eliminate the need for chemical fly control--and at a lower cost. Here are instructions for an application of fly parasites.

The parasites will be shipped in fly pupae with wood shavings to insulate the pupae against damage. Place the shipment in a warm area out of direct sunlight until you observe hatching--approximately two to ten days, depending on the temperature and the stage of wasp's development at the time of shipment. In the warmer days of summer, it is not unusual for the parasites to be hatching aggressively upon arrival. In this case, they should be released shortly after you receive them.

Scatter a small amount of the fly pupae in the problem areas. Apply some around watering and feeding receptacles, taking care that they are out of the way of the paths where your animals routinely walk. Use the remaining parasites around any damp, cool spots that make good breeding areas for fly populations. Make scheduled follow-up applications.

Fly parasites seek out fly pupae and lay thier eggs in fly pupae as part of thier own reproductive cycle.  The fly parasite larvae consumes the pest fly's larvae.  The adult fly parasite emerges and will repeat the cycle, seeking out other fly pupae.  Fly parasites attack several species of filth-breeding flies commonly associated with animals.  They live on and near manure and garbage waste disposal sites, going completely unnoticed by humans or animals.

To release fly parasites think like a mama fly!  The parasites should be distributed throughout the breeding areas when they begin emerging on a weekly basis during 'fly season".

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