Magazine article Sunset

Another Way to Get Rid of Houseflies? It's Biological

Magazine article Sunset

Another Way to Get Rid of Houseflies? It's Biological

Article excerpt

Another way to get rid of houseflies? It's biological

With summer's warm days come house-flies--especially if you live near areas where horses or other livestock are kept. Controlling these buzzing pests around your home is never easy; even if you can reduce breeding in your garden, new flies can migrate from miles around.

Now there's new biological control thatmay help you reduce this nuisance on a neighborhood-wide basis. Minute wasps that parasitize the pupae (cocoon-like dormant forms) of many types of common flies can be released into breeding areas to reduce new generations.

The effectiveness of these flea-size waspshas not been scientifically proven under all possible conditions. But there are reports of significant reductions in fly populations when the wasps are released where fresh manure builds up, as in barnyards or stables. If you have a serious fly problem, chances are good that it can be traced to such areas near your house. If the owners cooperate, a release around nearby livestock may reduce flies throughout your neighborhood.

Because they don't bite, sting, or migrateindoors, the wasps won't become a nuisance themselves.

Where to buy parasitic wasps

The major supplier is Rincon-Vitova Insectaries,Inc. For a free catalog, write to Box 95, Oak View, Calif. 93022. To order by credit card, call toll-free (800) 248-2847 or, in California, (805) 643-5407.

Minimum order, 5,000 wasps, costs$12.50 plus shipping. This should control flies in an area containing 5 large animals (horses or cows) or 7 to 10 smaller ones (dogs) for a month. …

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