In the Sunday Whistleblower column, I wrote about the frustrations of two rural Scott County residents whose homes have been bombarded by flies from the neighboring feedlot. The flies leave behind trails of excrement on the siding and windows of Richard Theis and Wiley Vogt’s homes.
Scott County got involved in the dispute because the feedlot operator, Roger Breeggemann, had up to 90 head of cattle on a 10-acre property that legally could only hold eight. County officials worked out a solution with Breeggemann, which required him to lease additional land and spray Theis and Vogt’s homes with a product to keep the flies away. Both Theis and Vogt said they were concerned about an insecticide being sprayed on their homes.
Reader Gary Hymel sent an e-mail to Whistleblower offering a possible fix that wouldn’t involve chemicals: wasp eggs. He used to be a dairy farmer in Aitkin County and bought wasp eggs a few times a year to spread over his manure piles and around the pasture. The newly hatched wasps then laid their eggs on the fly eggs.
“Instead of flies, more wasps hatched, on a mission. You get the picture,” Hymel wrote. “Mr. Breeggemanns’ critters will spend less time swishing and more time gaining weight and inspiring Far Side cartoons. His neighbors will not be under siege.”
Hymel got his wasps from Spalding Fly Predators. According to its website, Spalding’s “fly predators” are from the Hymenopteran order of insects, which includes wasps, bees and ants. However, these tiny creatures are biteless and stingless.
Feel free to offer any other fly fixes. I’m sure Vogt and Theis would appreciate it.