California Riding Magazine • March, 2008

ARBICO Organics
Eco-Conscious solutions to pest problems.

by Erna L. Adelson

The most recent trend addressed by industries today is based on growing consumer awareness and concerns about the environment. Automobiles and household appliances are just two of the most prominent products that have been modified to be less damaging to the environment by relying on new hybrid and sustainable technology, and adding features that reduce fossil fuel and energy consumption. Individuals are “going green” by offsetting their carbon emissions, using more organic and eco-friendly materials daily.

The equine industry is sure to follow this earth-friendly movement. Equine operations can create a strain on their surrounding environments, no matter their size. Luckily, if you are a horse owner, eco-conscious solutions can literally be cultivated in your own backyard. ARBICO Organics of Tucson, AZ, provides comprehensive pest control, fertilizers and other tools to create a more comfortable home for horses and livestock naturally.

For fly control, ARBICO provides a four-step fly elimination program that utilizes gnat-sized parasitic wasps that feed upon and breed within developing, or pupal, stages of manure breeding flies. Fly Parasites can be used by horse and livestock owners to eliminate flies before they hatch into irritating, disease-carrying adults. “People who have horses inevitably have fly problems,” says Sheri Herrera de Frey, one of the owners of ARBICO Organics. “We offer conscientious solutions to reduce fly populations with a parasitic wasp that naturally occurs where there is manure, so a natural process is sustained.”

It is recommended to order a fly-reduction program from ARBICO when the weather begins to get warmer. Sheri suggests starting a program when flies begin to breed, which can be at a temperature of 45 degrees. A bag of fly parasite larvae is sent directly to the customer, who then releases the organisms around sunset in and around manure, other organic residue and moist areas. The insects burrow into the ground and seek the fly pupa, feed on the flies, and then they lay eggs inside fly pupa. Thus, flies are reduced at the developmental stage. A new bag of the wasp larvae is sent to the customer every three to four weeks throughout the duration of fly season.

Additionally, ARBICO provides a beneficial nematode program called NemaAttack™, which controls ants, cockroaches, gnats, caterpillars, termites and fleas as well as fly larvae. NemaAttack™ Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic, non-segmented worms that occur naturally in soil throughout the world. Once released, the nematodes seek out fly maggots and other subterranean pests, enter through body openings and emit a toxin that kills pests within 48 hours. Beneficial Nematodes are shipped in an easily dissolved clay formulation. The water-soluble casing can be applied to compost and manure piles and frequent manuring and urinating sites using a watering can, hose, pump sprayer or through irrigation systems.
For adult fly control, ARBICO supplies solar and holistic flytraps and repellants, which are also sustainable, and environmentally safe. Because flies outbreed even the most thorough reduction programs, they are not completely eradicated by the ARBICO fly parasite. Instead, Sheri explains, a bio balance is created, where flies are reduced to the point that they are no longer overwhelming. Diseases carried by adult flies are also greatly reduced after the treatment.

A similar process is used to reduce mosquito populations: Bti, or Bacillus thuringienis israelensis, is bacteria that is specifically harmful to mosquitoes and black flies. When dispensed in moist, mosquito breeding areas, the Bti is consumed by mosquito larvae. It damages their gut cells and quickly paralyzes them, killing the larvae more quickly and efficiently than harmful synthetic insecticides. A moderate to heavy dose has been shown to reduce the mosquito population by one half in 15 minutes and the rest within one hour.

ARBICO’s holistic product lines are complete with organic insecticides and repellants, traps, weed control and lawn care products, gardening and farming aids and tools, organic fertilizers, bird and animal control, holistic pet care and household items, and other helpful resources.

For more information, visit ARBICO Organics at www.arbico-organics.com.