Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc Biological Solutions for Pest Management

Catalog of Beneficials - Miscellaneous Insects


Fly Bulletin

 Fly Bulletin, Raising Adult Flies for Feeding Insects or Pets

Insect life cycle

Flies go through a complete metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, adult. Flies are sold as pupae because they are easy to ship in this resting phase.

 Time Flies Need to Develop

Temperature affects how fast insects develop. The warmer the conditions, the faster they develop, up to 100 F. Flies emerge from their pupae in 3 days at 80 F and in 5 days at 60 F. After being stored in your refrigerator for a while they take longer to emerge. After cold storage for several weeks flies emerge in 5-6 days at 80 F and 7-9 days at 60 F.


Conditions to Raise Flies


The best conditions for your flies to emerge is 80 F and 50% to 60% relative humidity (RH). Putting them into warm place is referred to as incubating the pupae. A box or place with these conditions is called an incubator You can find a warm spot in your house or set up a box with a small light in it to warm. If the creature you are feeding the flies lives in a warm terrarium you may be able to place a dish or container in the terrarium and put fly pupae in it to emerge. A dish up off the ground is best, such as a dish suspended from a suction cup attached to an aquarium wall. After some experience you will find how fast the flies emerge in your conditions.


Small containers for holding fly pupae until they emerge can be take-out food containers like you get a sauce in. larger containers can be canning jars with gauze or mesh over the top held on with a rubber band or a canning jar ring. You may be able to put pupae in a sandwich bag, blow air into it and close it with a twist tie - like a small balloon. You can then transfer the flies from the container into the cage with the creatures you are raising.


How to Raise Flies


You will get a bag of about 5,000 fly pupae with wood shavings. The wood shavings keep the pupae from being squashed together in shipping. Take out a few pupae to incubate and put the rest in a refrigerator. Make sure they are in a part of the refrigerator that does not freeze. If you want 10 flies a day, take 15 flies out each day for the first week. Put the pupae into your incubator. For the second and third week take out 20 flies each day and put into your incubator. In the forth week take out 30 flies each day. As the flies are stored less and less will emerge. This will give you an idea of what to expect, but conditions vary so you will have to see what happens in your own home.


What To Expect From Stored Fly Pupae

Weeks in storage Percent hatch To get 10 flies, incubate Days to emerge at 60 F Days to emerge at 80 F
none 95% 11 pupae 5 days 3 days
1 80 - 90 15    
2 50 - 70 20    
4 30 - 50 30 7 - 9 5 - 6
5 10 - 20 100    



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