Question about flies

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Hip_Shot_Hanna, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    I"ve mentioned we have a horrible plague of flies. This has been a problem ever since the weather warmed up in the spring.

    We are still battling them. Yesterday afternoon I went out to the barn and they were swarming all over the place, clouds of them. I waited until after dark when the flies settle, and then went out and sprayed with a permethrin spray after covering up all feed, feed pans etc, and kept the critters out of the barn for 90 minutes to let it all settle.

    There were flies blackening all the beams and studs, and all available wire fencing inside. It reminded me of a horror movie!

    Now, this is the point. We had the flies long before we got any livestock, and I've had livestock before in another location and never had this kind of fly problem AT ALL. It's dry as all get out here, dusty and so on.

    These flies are obviously coming from the dairy that is maybe 1/4 to 1/2 a mile from here. They are all over my mailbox 1/10 of a mile up the road, and our neighbor behind us, who only has one dog and isn't there 50% of the time said his porch was black with them as well.

    I've lived in the country before with goats, a horse, a cow, couple of pigs, flock of chickens. I've been to my grandparents farms when they were living, and NEVER have I seen such flies.

    Is this cause for complaint? It's maddening! We can't sit on our own porch - the flies are all over us. Walking up the back steps to the back door the flies are flying around and hitting us in the head, face, everywhere.

    Should I contact our county extension agent? What? I suspect bad practices at the dairy down the road because of these flies.

    Thanks
    HSH
     
  2. Magickhart

    Magickhart Member

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    What kind of fly is it? Are they very small black flies, or the larger ones?
    I would definitely call someone to come in and investigate for the heath reasons of everyone your area! Sounds like you'd need a fogger in the barn, but if they are outside in swarms it wont do any good!... Oh my!
     

  3. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    They look like houseflies to me. Some are a bit smaller, and a few maybe a bit larger, but not like horseflies. They are just disgusting.. I hate it when they are this thick, and bouncing off your head, in your ears, I've had them hit me in the eyes too.
     
  4. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    Dusks, Muscovies, lots of them, they will devour the flies and turn them into meat! Also check for maggots around your property, if they are breeding, chickens may help, they eat the maggots and bust up the manure so it will dry and no longer support the flies. Other than that, try to find a massive fly trap, one of the ones with a one way chamber and bait, I think some of the ones out there could probably hold 1,000,000 flies, which it sounds like you may have. Always trying to avoid chemicals, I would only fog as a last resort. Good Luck!
     
  5. CindyOR

    CindyOR Well-Known Member

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    I think I would probably stop by the dairy and see what the conditions are there before assuming the flies are coming from them. If you file a complaint you want to make sure of your facts prior to filing.

    If you go to the dairy and the conditions are the obvious source of your fly population, then yes, I would go to your county offices and find out who covers this type of complaint. That many flies so far from the dairy - can you picture what it must be like at the dairy if that is indeed the source?? Yuck to be them!

    You can put all the traps, use chemicals, use natural methods - whatever, but until you identify the source and deal with cutting down the flies there, you are battling the wind, so to speak, and wasting your time & energy.
    You really do need to find the source though, so your animals don't become affected through this large population of flies. Disease, maggots - you open your farm up to some problems if they don't get under control.

    I wish you luck,
    CindyOR
     
  6. busybee870

    busybee870 Well-Known Member

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    i was reading about swet basil being a fly repellant, going to get some for inside , and outside , just plant the stuff everywhere
     
  7. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    I actually wasn't going to file a complaint against the dairy. Re-reading my original post I can see that would be a logical assumption.

    What I was going to do was have someone come out and see our situation and investigate the problem. I'd be quite happy if I could do something to stop the situation at it's source if it were on my place.

    While I agree that finding where they are breeding would be great, the fact remains that they are NOT breeding on my place - I did check for that many times. I've not seen a maggot anywhere. Just the flies.

    I've tried the baits and the traps, we had FOUR of them this summer, and still the flies were horrid. I hung fly paper. While I'm sure they "must" have helped, physically we just could not tell a difference in the numbers, even though the fly traps filled very quickly.
     
  8. wildhorse

    wildhorse Well-Known Member

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    While it wont fix the problem it will help a bit fix up a spray bottle of strong bleach water and spray the porch ect. It helps a bit.Mix mint mouth wash and water to spray your critters.
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    HSH -

    My experience and intuition tell me this not a normal house fly. Cluster flies are my guess. They lay eggs in the soil in the early spring. When the eggs hatch they infest earthworms. In the fall, as the weather begins to change, this fly will go a long distance from the where they emerge. They look for a place warm enough for them to make it through the winter. Typical human behavior will warm the house and draw the flies in. It is too late to do anything but use your vacuum cleaner to suck in the flies that show up. They do not have the same risk that a lot of house flies have when it comes to having them in your house. They are just disgusting.

    If I am right and they are cluster flies, this problem will occur every year. Your solution is to eliminate entry points on the outside of the house during the summer before the cluster fly starts looking for a place to winter. I did use a repellant concentrated pesticide that would last 90 days on the outside surface. I used a power sprayer and sprayed the entire southern surface. It worked well enough to have several customers pay me to spray each late summer.

    If you have siding so every board is overlapping the one below, it will be tough to fix the structure. It will take time and money to seal the crack between each siding board. Your siding may overlap the foundation and have a big enough gap to let them in. Once in the wall they will sense the warmer living spaces and be able to come in around the window moldings, or under the baseboards.

    Good luck.
     
  10. HappyFarmer

    HappyFarmer Well-Known Member

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    We use a combination of flystrips & bait bottles. Bait bottles get put out early spring & the population doesn't get the chance to multiply.

    FYI-When the buds (name??) of skunk cabbage are emerging in the spring, apparently the bud generates heat of some sort where flies weather out the cold snaps. I learned this when I was looking for a way to eliminate the skunk cabbage in a corner of my pasture. Pretty useless information for some if they don't have skunk cabbage, but thought someone may be interested. Google it for more details.

    This spring we'll see if the population has decreased overall. (fingers crossed)
    HF
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Yes, cluster flies, they are a plague! Put DE in the feed and it will cut down on them considerably. I still get them from the neighboring farms but they aren't as bad if I feed DE to all my birds.
     
  12. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    I regularly use a tank sprayer full of pine sol and water. keeping everyting sprayed with it seems to keep the flies away.

    if they are as thick as you say, you can fill the spraayer full of something like maybe soapy water... pine sol... clorine... spray the flies and clouds and swarms. it might thin them out.

    they are coming from somewhere... from maggots. if you can identify the fly, then you caan identify the life cycle and where the magots live.... and break the cycle at the maggot stage.

    sounds wierd but try a big shop vac.... suck the lil buggers in the tank by the pound and then you have a full bag of flies.... bury it.

    I do that whe moths and gnatsget inthe house and swarm around my shop lights... about 5 min and a whole swam is gone.
     
  13. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Flies hibernate, and thaw when warmer weather comes. They will hide where ever.

    Alex
     
  14. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Get Muscovies. They eat flies by the thousands.
     
  15. mrglock27

    mrglock27 Well-Known Member

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    Muscovies do eat alot of flies but I had 110 big male muscovies and I still had millions of flies.
     
  16. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Unless you had anywhere from 660 - 1100 little females Muscovies, the males were probably so frustrated that they didn’t eat like they would if they had female companionship. A male scovy needs a harem or he won’t be a happy camper.