Using Parasitoids in an Integrated Pest Management Approach to Control Flies on Dairy Farms

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $288,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Grant Recipient: University of Arkansas
Region: Southern
State: Arkansas
Principal Investigator:
Kelly Loftin
University of Arkansas CES

Annual Reports


  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, manure management, parasite control
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, focus group, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, economic threshold, integrated pest management, sanitation


    Parasitoids were used to assist in fly control on southern dairy farms. Dairies using parasitoids in integrated pest management programs had similar fly numbers and parasitism as dairies not using parasitoids, emphasizing that sanitation and other methods of fly control are necessary when using parasitoids. Several naturally-occurring parasitoids were identified and this data increased the knowledge on diversity, abundance and seasonal distribution of parasitoids impacting flies in southern ecosystems. Deficiencies in quality assurance of commercial parasitoids that will impact the effectiveness of this approach were identified. Producer adoptable approaches for monitoring parasitoid quality and general fly IPM methods were developed.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives of this proposal to use parasitoids in an integrated filth fly management program are:

    1. Determine the species, seasonal occurrence and numbers of pupal parasitoids (Pteromalidae) that are naturally present in Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina dairy agroecosystems.

    2. Evaluate parasitoid dispersal and level of filth fly pupal parasitism after release of wasps in the dairy agroecosystem. Objective 2 will be accomplished through releases of (a) commercially available parasitoids and (b) red-eyed strain of parasitoids. Releases of red-eyed M. raptor will be used to evaluate parasitoid dispersal relative to established release rates to optimize fly control with parasitoids.

    3. Transfer integrated filth fly management technology to dairy producers and evaluate their efforts integrating parasitoid wasps into filth fly management programs.

    4. Educate dairy producers, extension agents, and other dairy-related personnel in each state relative to parasitoid effectiveness and use as a tactic to include in an integrated filth fly management program.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.