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).
It's HOT! Cool off by watching this wonderful snowy winter episode with Doc Jenni and watch as she ultrasounds Alpacas!
Burr! You can feel the brisk winter air just by watching!
Dr. Jenni Grimmett is an incredibly approachable veterinarian, a wonderful teacher, and talented Cowboy Dressage horse woman. Learn more about Dr. Jenni at SAVE.vet and watch her series at On The Road with Jenni Grimmett with new episodes every week!
Fly Predators are a fly preventative. Fly Predators kill developing flies, but do not affect adult pest flies that are already flying around. This means you need to go after both the future flies with Fly Predators and existing flies with Fly Traps and Spray to see a quick reduction. If using Fly Predators alone, the existing flies have to die off which can take 30 days or more.
Start by using traps to help catch adult flies and lower their population faster! See our video on using Fly Traps HERE.
Plan on using at least 2 and possibly 3 different trap types. For House Flies, the ones on the face of your horse going for the moisture in their eyes, but also found everywhere, use Odor Traps. These are the ones you add water to that smell bad. However, make sure to never put odor traps inside or within 150ft of buildings and animals. Odor traps are designed to attract flies from a distance, so you use them to draw flies away from an area. Odor traps indoors can end up inviting more flies to join the party and you don’t want this. Yellow sticky traps are great for use against house flies inside the barn and common use areas. The flies biting your animals’ legs and flanks and dog’s ears are Biting Stable Flies. They only are caught by The Bite Free Stable Fly Trap which should be placed very low to the ground (the top should be no higher than your hip) and in good afternoon sunlight. Stable fly traps should be placed outside, near where animals hang out, but on the opposite side of the fence to avoid them playing with the trap.
Fly baits and premise insecticides can also be used if you don’t mind pesticides. These are available from most feed stores. A good device is the StarBar Fly Abatement Stick in that the pesticide is contained in a cage that flies can reach but kids and pets cannot. Fly baits should be placed in a disposable container out of reach of pets or livestock and should not be used outdoors on the ground where it can seep into the ground as they can be drawn up in plants and cause harm to honeybees. Premise insecticide sprays can also be used on areas where flies like to rest. If there is a particular wall or area where you see a lot of little black specks from the flies, that is a good location to spray with an insecticide to kill adult flies. Be sure the read the label completely and follow all instructions for use.
BUT what should I do first? Honestly?.. Give us a call at 1-866-404-3903. Our agents are all fly experts and can help you determine what types of flies you have (different flies breed in different habitats), where best to spread Fly Predators, and offer advice on the best management practices based on your set up and location. We can still make a big difference this year if you have 2 months of fly season left. And you will be prepared with the knowledge for a delightfully fly free next year.
Some species, including Homo Sapiens (That is US!) can, if the individual is healthy, tolerate sudden changes in diet without problems. But, other species, especially the herbivores (grazing animals) can suffer if the diet is changed abruptly.
The horse is a good example. Because horses depend to a great extent, upon the billions of microörganisms within their digestive tract to process what they eat, any sudden change in the diet may preclude those microörganisms’ ability to break down the consumed food.
It is these microscopic residents of the equine digestive tract, which enable the horse to do something that we humans cannot do. That is, to break down grass and other plants into chemicals, which horses, can thrive on, and even become obese from over-eating.
Having seen thousands of colic cases, many of them fatal, foundered horses, and other serious problems caused by too sudden dietary changes during my practice career, I have become obsessive, and, I confess, rather paranoid about making dietary changes in my own horses.
Now, the good part of that is that never have I had one of my own equines suffer illness as a result of a too swift change in diet.
The bad part is that other people, including my ranch employees, think that I am some sort of nut.
For example, I not only take a full week or two of gradual substitution when changing diets, such as hay to pasture, or from dry forage to green, but I even insist that a new batch of the same kind of hay be introduced very gradually. So, today, just before I wrote this, my horses have been primarily on alfalfa hay. But, I opened a bale from a different delivery (from the same dealer) and I fed them ¼ flake of the new bale and ¾ flake from the old bale.
Excessive? Yes, I admit it. Unnecessary? Well, having had many horses and mules for the past 60 years, and never had one colic or founder is good reason for me to be so cautious.
Besides, horses are very aware of changes in the source of water, or the stage of growth that the hay derived from, or any other change in what they consume, so it is worth it to me to see them feeling secure and content.
That’s the reason I make any feed change gradually. For example:
If they have been primarily on hay all winter and I am ready to introduce them to the green Spring pastures, I allow them only 5 minutes the first day, and increase it by 5 more minutes during the following days until they have been in pasture a full hour. Yes, that takes time and patience, but it also means healthy horses. If they go into a different pasture with different kinds of forage (I live in a canyon, moist at the bottom and dry above), I repeat the gradual process.
And, again, even if I buy a new load of the same kind of hay from the same feed store, I make the change gradually.
Am I obsessive? Yes! I have seen too many horses damaged by too abrupt feed changes. Thousands of sick horses, as I said earlier, and many died, or were permanently damaged as is the case in laminitis. It’s not worth the risk.
Think about wild horses. Say it is at the end of the dry season. Then at last, it rains. Soon new green grass emerges from the ground. The horses nibble it, but hunger causes them to fill up on the old abundant grass. As the new grass grows, they gradually switch on to it.
That’s why, in feeding equines, I try to emulate nature. I have seen enough colics in my long career to ever see one of my own equines experience it.
When I was young, starting previously unhandled colts on summer jobs for cattle ranches in several states, the term “colt” usually referred to 4 or 5 year old horses. Occasionally, one was older, maybe 6 or 7, or, rarely a 3 year old.
The exception was at the racetrack. Racehorses and only racehorses were started as 2 year olds. The term “futurity” was limited to racehorses.
Today horses are usually started under saddle as 2 year olds, in all breeds and all disciplines, and I see an increasing tendency to ride them even younger, at 22 months of age for example.
There is a popular misconception that, if the growth plates (the epiphyses) of the leg bones are closed, as revealed in radiography, that the colt is “mature”.
That simply is untrue. It just means that the end of the bone, which has been x-rayed is no longer growing, but other bones plus soft tissue structures such as tendons, ligaments and muscle may still be quite immature.
In my long career as an equine veterinary practitioner, I found that the most frequent cause of lameness in horses was damage done by excessive work at too young an age. And, this is increasingly true. How many times, examining a qualified performance horse, which moves soundly at 5 to 7 years of age, have I found that when I flexed a limb, the horse winced with pain. Subsequent radiographs revealed the very early signs of joint deterioration.
A very generous client who had become a good friend once offered me and my wife a free reining horse, a mare who had competed successfully until the age of 5. Then she had been bred and I was told that we could have her as a gift, as soon as her foal was weaned.
She moved soundly, but, when I flexed her right fetlock, she said, “Ouch!” And, after sustained flexion, she walked out lame. I turned her down and, two years later, I was asked to examine her for chronic right fore lameness.
Horsemanship, in our society, has greatly improved in most ways during the last four decades with one exception. We are starting colts younger, working them harder (one reason being that we have selectively bred for better performance; faster, more agility, and all of this damages the immature body.)
Selling younger horses is profitable for the breeder, training younger horses is profitable for the trainer and easier than waiting for full maturity, but it is a disaster for too many of these young horses.
The epidemic of young horses becoming unsound is also a disaster for the owner, who too often defers to what the breeders and trainers recommend. Only the veterinarian and the pharmaceutical industry profit by this increasing phenomenon. Too much stress at too young an age.
You may hear deceptive results from “scientific studies,” that exercise is “good for growing colts”.
Of course! Exercise is good for all horses. But reining, cutting, jumping, etc. an immature horse is damaging.
I never started one of my own colts under three. Most were 6 to 12 months older. And, I never overworked them. At 5 I would turn them over to a selected trainer to begin their discipline training.
The one time I failed to do this was with the first mule I raised. Because I mistakenly believed that mules were “tougher” than horses, I broke her to ride at 2 and turned her over to one of my clients to be trained as a hunter-jumper.
She had a very successful career, winning English and Western shows, often beating horses, going on pack trips and round ups, and even cutting cattle without a bridle.
Great! Right? But she went lame in middle age, prematurely, because of too much, too soon.
I have a library of books written by famous horsemen. A while ago I went through every book looking for the colt starting ages they recommend.
Why does the Spanish Riding School recommend starting their Lipizzaners at age 5 and not subjecting them to really hard work until age 7? Here’s why: The horses evolved on the Plains of North America. They survived successfully despite the constant presence of carnivorous predators, mostly of the cat and dog family. This included huge species like the cave lion and the primitive wolf.
They survived because of an effective defense. They were fast, agile, bonded in herds, and had very, very perceptive senses to detect possible predators and respond with high-speed flight. They could outrun most big cats and canines.
Also they are a precocial species, able to run, follow mom, and escape and learn, soon after birth.
So, obviously, exercise is beneficial for the young horse. Indeed, it is essential for normal development.
However, “exercise” does not mean excessive sprinting, longeing, or twisting and turning or sliding stops. It means walking, trotting here and there, and running and playing once in a while.
Excessive exercise, which unnaturally stresses the young body is damaging: a common problem seen in human athletes, talented but not yet mature enough for competition they can survive when older.
So, if you love horses, if you care about them, if you want them to still be sound and working at 20 or 25 years of age, wait. You can do so much valuable training on the ground. Don’t rush them.
I am presently, as I write this, 90 years of age, and I treasure Scooter, whom I started at 4 years of age. She is now going on 30! (Together we are almost 120 years old.) I am so glad I waited. So glad I periodically worked her on the ground, producing such a calm, reliable, trustworthy, patient, capable old mount. I love riding her and hope we have more time together.
Incidentally, I was a gymnast at 16, a pole vaulter at 17, a rodeo contestant at 20 and have endless orthopedic problems. That’s one reason I still ride. It hurts to walk.
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