I have been using Spalding’s Fly Predators since 1978 or 1979. I forgot the year but it was shortly after we moved to this small acreage, which provides pasture for our horses and mules.
It is March and I am writing this at a resort in California’s beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. Spring is officially a week off. It is still very much winter here. The snow is deep.
I’m here to participate in a veterinary conference, which offers C.E. plus skiing, and a very sociable camaraderie with colleagues, many of them long time friends.
Yesterday the afternoon sun was so warm and brilliant that a group of us gathered on the porch, surrounded by snow banks and snow covered peaks. Despite all the snow it was so warm that we were comfortable in our shirts. We left our jackets indoors.
Sitting there, savoring the sunshine, talking to a long time friend and colleague, Dr. John Duff from Seattle, Washington, we were amazed to see several house flies land near us. One crawled up on my leg. Although it looked normal its movement was slow. I was able to flick it into fly heaven with one finger. The other flies suffered the same fate.
“Warm enough to propagate, but cold enough to slow down the flight reaction,” I said.
“Yes,” said John, flicking another fly from his knee into the adjacent snow bank.
I learned something! Start fly control early! At the first appearance of flies! Back home, where the altitude is several thousand feet lower I saw my first flies in late February and asked Spalding Laboratories for an early shipment of Predators. Then it got colder in early March, so I did not expect to see flies up here, two weeks later, at an altitude of over 7,000 feet.
John and I swatted a couple more flies.
“There,” we said. “That will minimize the fly problem this year.”
I must go back in July to see if we actually managed to reduce the 2016 fly problem. I doubt it.
Seeing flies when surrounded by snow at high altitude made me suspect that some flies, like some humans, prefer an arctic climate. Maybe these California Mountain Flies are the Eskimos of the insect world.
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