Fly Parasites and Biological Fly Control

FDA, EPA, and State - regulatory issues

Ron Whitehurst, Pest Control Advisor


EPA does not regulate beneficial insects under it's authorizing legislation (FIFRA). Anyone is free to use the beneficial fly parasites to control flies without restrictions.


FDA regulates pest flies around food processing facilities, but does not issue approvals for any management strategy. Flies should be managed at low levels. Our fly parasites help achieve that goal. Biological fly control does not introduce any pesticides into the dairy products. The only concern for FDA is that they don't contaminate the product with insect body parts. Therefore, fly parasites are not released in sensitive areas like milking parlors, where a high level of cleanliness must be maintained. There should be no fly breeding in the milking parlor and no reason to release fly parasites there.


State agriculture departments have no official approval documentation that I am aware of.


All of these agencies support the use of biological pest control through scientific research and extension activities. The use of fly parasites, Ophyra (Hydrotea or dump flies), hister beetles (Carcinops sp.) and insect parasitic nematodes are well established practices among state and federal pest control experts and used in a variety of government facilities.


Some examples of state and federal extension information on using fly parasites:


The Cornell site:


This one is on feedlots. Same principle - confined livestock:


One from Nebraska on dairies.


Texas A&M

Biological fly control using beneficial insects in an IPM program is a very cost effective way to control flies without using toxic pesticides or disrupting the environment providing a better environment for dairy workers and for the cattle.