Biological and cultural fly control options for organic dairies

Graduate Student Final Report – Ceres Trust Research Grant

Graduate Student: Jessica Starcevich

Major Professor:  Dr. Roger D. Moon, University of Minnesota Department of Entomology

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Our project proposal included two objectives: Objective 1 was to survey organic dairies to determine what kinds of beneficial wasps occur naturally in the region. To learn more about the fly sources and kinds of wasps that occur in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we surveyed six organic dairies in July and August 2010 to determine (1) which kinds of organic debris substrates contain developing filth flies, (2) which species of filth flies occur in those substrates, and (3) what kinds of naturally occurring beneficial wasps were active in those substrates. This report summarizes our principle findings for this objective.

Objective 2 was to augment an independently funded project to determine why beneficial wasps in the genus Spalangia attack more filth flies in straw than in other bedding materials. Unfortunately designed experiments could not be completed, because of unforeseen difficulties in obtaining sufficient numbers of wasps, so no progress could be made on the second objective.

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