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We've had fly predators for a few months and I think they are helping, but not as much as I was hoping. I have some questions about our manure management.
We have three horses at our house in the middle of a city suburb, approx 1 acre lot including yard and house. So horses have about 1/2 acre split into: a four stall barn with a breezeway, a dirt area and a small pasture. The horses are fed and spend the day outside in the dirt area mostly, and graze in the pasture about every other day for a few hours. At night they are fed and let into the barn, which has wood shavings to absorb urine. We muck the stalls every morning and the outside area every evening. We put all the manure and urine soaked wood shavings into large black garbage bags, and then we haul them to the dump once a week. We have about 6-8 garbage bags a week, and they just sit in the barn until it's time to haul them off. The bags are tied up but not air tight.
I'm wondering if we should really be bagging up the manure, or should we be spreading it outside to dry? We don't want a build up of dried manure to make our area a muddy mess in winter, which is why we've been bagging and hauling it off. Our last boarding area before we had horse property did this and it was a disgusting mess in the winter. But I feel like we're bagging up our fly predators and throwing them away.
Should I be putting fly predators in the barn? In the video it says flies don't really reproduce in the barn, but there is always some wet wood shavings left behind even after we muck. The dirt area is very dry since we bag up the manure daily. The pasture stays fairly dry as well, so I'm just not really sure where I should be putting the fly predators. We don't have any rotting hay or anything like that. There is one area behind the barn that is grassy and a little swampy due to shade.
Sorry so long, but I want to give the predators optimal chance to work and have been confused as to what would be best for our specific situation. Thank you so very much for your help and excellent customer service!
Due to the small area, bagging up the manure is probably the best option. However, in the spring and fall, removing it once a week is probably fine, but in the summer when temperatures are over 85, I would try to remove it twice a week. If you are unable to do so twice a week in the summer, it might be better to designate an area to spread it out to dry and bag it up after a few days drying in the sun. If there is some moist areas in the stalls, I would recommend putting a few Fly Predators in the stalls, as well as out in the pasture, and the shady area behind the barn. Because you are picking up so frequently, the Fly Predators are not going to get carried away in manure. The Fly Predators seek the pupal stage of the fly, which takes about 5-7 days to go from egg to pupa. This means that the Fly Predators are searching around areas where manure has been as well as damp areas where it's difficult to get everything, rather than in really fresh manure.
If you have any other questions, please let us know.
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