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KNOW YOUR FRIEND THE FLY PARASITOID: Muscidifurax raptor

PARASITOIDS BRED IN SOUTH AFRICA WITH A PROVEN RECORD TO CONTROL FLIES UNDER SOUTH AFRICAN CONDITIONS.

Appearance

Muscidifurax raptor is a minute, black wasp, about 1-2 mm in length. It is nocturnal, ant-like and prefers to walk rather than to fly. They can easily disperse up to 50 meters. This parasitoid can parasitize a number of fly species e.g. housefly, stable fly and other filth flies.

In addition to the very effective Muscidifurax raptor, other Muscidifurax species and parasitoids such as the Nasonia species are also important. These are present in various degrees and will multiply where the situation suits them.

Life Cycle

The adult parasitoid stings the fly pupa, killing it in the process and then lays an egg in the pupal case. When the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the dead fly pupa. The wasps emerge in 19 21 days and begins its search for fly pupa on which to feed and deposit eggs. Females may feed without depositing an egg, killing the fly pupa by mutilation.

Habitat

Dairy, poultry, pig farms and any suburban and urban localities where flies exist.

How does this programme work?

- Parasitoides are reared in an insectary for releasing, and are available in packs of 5000.

- These parasitoides will be released on certain "hot-spots" on a regular basis.

- This forms part of an integrated pest management programme, therefore adult flies must be controlled.

- No chemicals except larvacides containing Cyromazine will be allowed near parasitoides.

- Release parasitoides in safe places with protection against birds, cattle thoroughfare and chemical sprays.

NB. It must be taken into account that this is a seasonal programme and success can only be obtained with dedication. However, after 40 years of successful releases in the USA, Canada and other countries worldwide, this is the only way to go!


Advantages of biological control

- Its nature's way of keeping a balance.

- Insects become resistant to chemicals after a period of time.

- Chemicals do not kill flies only. Beneficial species such as beetles, spiders as well as insect feeding birds are also affected.

- Everyone is looking for a continuous and not a temporary solution.

- Parasitoides will increase naturally if given the chance and is not harmful to any other natural organisms but the fly. It is cost effective in the long term and very user friendly.

- The release of parasitic wasps are a clean and easy means of controlling flies.

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