Monday, August 22, 2011


My son, Zack, has been telling me that he is going to invent a way to rid the world of all flies. He thinks they are annoying, and that the must go. Now, I know they are annoying, but I also believe that in some ways nature is a fragile system and that messing with it like that could have horrible consequences. I reminded Zack that flies help decompose things and that we need flies. He doesn't completely believe that reason, since he thinks there are enough birds to do that job (as much as I try to tell him that while a vulture can help with decomposing an animal, there is more that flies do that vultures can't, he doesn't buy my reasoning). I think it will be some time before Zack devises his plan, and hopefully along the way he'll learn more about our fragile ecosystem.

Flies can be a nuisance on the farm. We deal with them by putting out fly traps. It's amazing how many flies we catch in them!

This is our favorite trap because it seems the catch the most:

Here they are pretty much full (I call these the fly mortuary):

These traps work by having a smelly substance inside that attracts the flies. There is a hole in the bottom of the container that is cone shaped. The flies fly in to get to the smelly substance but can't figure out how to fly out (I'm sure there are some that do get out, but most do not and soon meet their death).

We also spread DE (Diatomaceous Earth) on top of the alpaca's poop piles. I wrote more about DE last year (link to post here). We've had times we used DE and times we didn't (usually because we couldn't find any to buy), and each time we notice a huge difference in the amount of flies. I believe the DE kills off the fly larva, stopping the fly life-cycle. It's a natural product so you don't have to worry about chemical side effects. The biggest thing to me is that it works, we have found nothing else that comes close to working as well.

The bag of DE:

DE spread on the ground:


Kathryn Ray said...

We use the same fly traps. They filled up in no time this year.

I'm thinking about trying them with soapy water instead of the smelly stuff.

We also use DE on the poop piles, but only when we see bugs there. It's also a good solution to ants. :-)

Oak Haven Alpacas said...

That's an idea with the soapy water, because the smelly stuff - it smells!

I find this time of year that we have flies on the poop piles no matter what, so I make it routine to put DE out. I didn't think about it working on ants. That's a good thing to know too. We've had ant issues on our patio before.


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