I am a frequent speaker at horse expos, schools of veterinary medicine and equine science, veterinary conventions, and other horse related events. I meet a lot of horse people and I have often been asked, “You endorse Spalding’s Fly Predators. Do they really work?”

I tell them, “I’ve never endorsed a commercial product for financial gain during my entire long career. But I do encourage the horse owner to use Fly Predators, and I have never sought to be paid by Spalding Laboratories for doing so. I’ll tell you why.”

Thirty-eight years ago I moved to a new home. My wife and I had spent eighteen years in a home we built on a one-acre lot in a horse-zoned subdivision, but, with two mares and three growing fillies, we needed more room.

So, we ended up buying a five-acre place with a nice home and a good barn from one of my clients. It is in the mountains south of town, in a canyon. Because of its location and topography it has what is common in this mountain range; what is known as a microclimate. It is only a few miles from our town of Thousand Oaks, which, due to perpetual ocean breezes called “Marine Air Flow” has the legendary benign Southern California climate.

However, due to the terrain, our canyon has a desert climate. It often freezes on winter mornings, and it can be extremely hot in summer. I don’t mind those slight extremes, having lived in Southern Arizona and in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. What I wanted was acreage, solitude, silence and a mountain locale to ride in.

The client I purchased my new home from never did anything to control flies. In the summer I’d see his horses absolutely covered with flies, including their faces, ears, and around their eyes. They would give up fighting the flies and just stand there, depressed and unhappy, surrendering to the pests.

My strategy was to use repellent sprays. I did not want to use environmental insecticides because a creek across from my property runs into Lake Sherwood and I am an environmentally conscious person.

We moved onto the property in March. In July I was on a routine call to an important client, Bell Canyon Stables, an excellent boarding and training facility in the hills West of Canoga Park, over twenty miles from where I live. I was working on a horse’s leg. It was noon and over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I suddenly realized that there were no flies. Remarkable! I turned to the stable manager and said, “What are you using for fly control?” She answered, “Fly Predators!”

I had heard about this product, but had been frankly skeptical.

“That’s all?” I asked. “No premise insecticides?”

“No.” she said. “Just Predators.   They ship them to us every month.”

I ordered Fly Predators the next day and have used them ever since. I got many of my clients to use them and most of my animal owning neighbors.

I am an endorser of Spalding Lab’s Fly Predators for three reasons:

  1. Flies are not just annoying pests. They carry and transmit diseases.
  2. Unlike most chemical pesticides, Fly Predators can do no harm to the environment. We are close to Carlisle Creek, which empties into beautiful Lake Sherwood, a popular recreation and fishing spot. I am gratified that I am not causing toxins to flow into the lake.
  3. I have seen the biological resistance that many species, including bacteria, parasites and insect pests develop, in time, to chemical methods of control such as antibiotics, anthelmintics, and powerful insecticides. When that happens we end up with a bigger problem than we originally had.

I know that using biological control methods, such as nature’s Predator Flies, the power of evolution will make resistance unlikely. In other words, as the Fly evolves to resist the Predators, the Predators will similarly evolve to destroy the Fly. It’s all about Natural Selection, the Life Force, and the desire to survive and reproduce that all living things have been endowed with.