Are you wondering why your Fly Predators haven't hatched yet and want to know how to help them hatch quicker? Jess our Fly Predator Scientist has the answers...
Why Fly Predator Hatch Times Vary
The species that comprise Fly Predators have a life cycle that is very dependent on overall average temperatures. At ideal conditions (around 85°F) it takes a minimum of 2 weeks for the Fly Predator to develop from egg to adult. At much cooler temperatures, they can take 6 weeks or more to hatch.
Generally, we try to send out Fly Predators that have already been incubated for about a week, so that in the warm summer months, they will begin hatching within 5 days of arrival. However, temperatures during travel and temperatures where they are being kept can have large impacts on how quickly Fly Predators hatch. During the first shipment of the season, it’s not unusual for your Fly Predators to take 10 to 14 days after arrival to emerge. It’s much faster than that during the heat of August.
How Do I Help My Fly Predators Hatch Quicker?
If your weather is warm and you want to make sure your Fly Predators hatch as quickly as possible, keep them at a consistently warm temperature once you receive them. Don’t put them in direct sun as this can make them too hot while in the bag. On top of a refrigerator is a cozy place, but write a note so you don’t forget them.
If your weather is cooler than normal, particularly if you have a chance of freezing night time temperatures, you will want to slow down the hatching of your Fly Predators. If they traveled through cool temperatures on their way to you (which often happens in the early spring and late fall), even once kept consistently warm, it may take 2 weeks or more for your Fly Predators to hatch. If kept outside once they arrive, and night time temperatures are still falling down into the 50’s, this could also result in delayed hatching, even if daytime temperatures are getting into the 70’s or higher. You can match the speed of emergence to match your weather, which is also how quickly your pest flies will be emerging.
Bottom line: don’t worry if your Fly Predators don’t hatch right away in the spring and fall. Try to keep them in a consistently warm location, such as on top of a refrigerator or other electrical appliance that generates a little heat (just don’t cook them).
I will be forever grateful to the Spalding Labs company for their Fly Predators. I have previously described how our relationship began many years ago. It was 1978. I had read about the Predator Flies, and my practice partner, Dr. Larry Dresher, was using them satisfactorily.
It was noon, on an August day. The temperature was over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. I was at a large stable in an isolated canyon, working on a mare’s leg, trying to determine the cause of her lameness.
I suddenly became aware of the lack of flies. I asked the ranch manager who was standing nearby, “What are you using for fly control?” I assumed it was some kind of insecticide spray.
“Fly Predators,” she replied.
“That’s all?” I asked. “No insecticides?”
“Nope,” she responded. “Just Predators works great!”
I ordered Fly Predators the next day and have been a user ever since.
My place is in an isolated canyon, but off from the marine air layer that gives Western California its benevolent climate, summer temperatures reach extreme daily highs and consequently, the warm season (half the year) has a nasty fly season. The regular use of Spalding Fly Predators has tremendously reduced the fly problem. (I have persuaded my neighbors to use them too. They have horses, cattle, goats, and even emus that the coyotes haven’t yet wiped out.)
Spalding now has several other products available. They include various fly traps and sprays and Bye Bye Odor. I hope that Spalding achieves the success with these items that they did with their Fly Predators. I have become a loyal customer.
Lulu was the only Donkey I have owned. She was one of my patients in a petting zoo, which was part of the facilities at a children’s summer camp in the mountains not far from my home.
The petting zoo included miniature horses, pot-bellied pigs, lambs, goats, ducks and Lulu.
Lulu was a full sized burro. The camp adopted her as a foal for the children to enjoy, but when she was two years of age the camp director told me that she had grown “too big” for the petting zoo and that he wanted to donate her to somebody who would provide her with a good home.
I had been thinking for some time of getting a donkey to control the weed growth in our highly inflammable canyon, especially outside my fence lines on our neighbors’ ranch properties. So, I said, “I’ll be glad to take her. She can be good company for my horses.”
That’s how I came to own Lulu, and she came to educate me, to understand the donkey mind and how it differs from the horse’s mind, and, importantly, she helped me to understand and appreciate the hybrid mule.
For example, as soon as I got her home I got a long rope, attached it to her halter, and tied her to an oak tree. She immediately started grazing the tall spring grass around the oak. I stood by with a sharp knife, ready to help her if she became entangled. I knew that, although halter broke, she had never before been staked out on a long tie rope.
It took about 15 minutes before she stepped into a loop of the rope. Then after another 5 or 10 minutes, the rope encircled another leg. As she moved out away from the tree the slack came out of the rope and tightened around her legs. Soon it disabled her. She went down. A horse, two years of age and never having been staked out, would have struggled and probably suffered rope burns or worse.
Lulu, however, quietly sniffed and examined the ropes encircling her legs, gently tried to free them by moving them, and then gave up. She sighed, laid her head on the ground, sighed again and then just relaxed.
Her behavior was so different than that of a horse experiencing a new and incapacitating situation that I marveled at the good judgment this species was capable of.
A few years later, when I became a mule owner, breeder, trainer, and admirer, this experience with Lulu, and several others led to my attitude towards mules; I often say, “I love horses! I respect mules!”
© Spalding Laboratories. All Rights Reserved.