Introducing Lizards to Reduce Flys

Byron Todd

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Hi everyone,

Last season we had a major house fly problem even with habitual cleaning and sub weekly substrate changing. I think the part of the country we are in has a large number of flys. We tried many different methods but nothing worked. Basil plants, fly traps, fly tape, and water bags with coins.

So my question is, would it be a problem to introduce anoles into our back yard to keep the fly problem in check? I understand from prior research that co habitation of species is frowned upon because of disease transfer. However, the way I look at it, the flys are a much more common vector for disease transfer and we may be reducing risk of exposure by introducing anoles or geckos.

Is this a good idea or a bad idea?

Thank you all for your experience and information. Despite this being my first post I have used this site extensively to research and keep my grumpy boy happier.
 

dmmj

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Into your backyard? Does that mean you just release & hope they stay around?
 

Cowboy_Ken

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Last season we had a major house fly problem even with habitual cleaning and sub weekly substrate changing.
Have you located the nest of maggots? You mentioned cleaning completely yet y’all didn’t find where they were coming from? First eliminate the home of the babies and the ones that can fly will follow suit.
 

Tom

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Where are you?

Introducing non-native species is an ecological disaster waiting to happen. Many examples can be seen of the harm done by this all over the globe.

Encouraging or helping native species of fly predators is great. I think a multi-pronged approach of encouraging the natural predators, eliminating where they are coming from, and using fly traps will be the most effective strategy.
 

Byron Todd

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Into your backyard? Does that mean you just release & hope they stay around?
Yes, that is my intention.

Have you located the nest of maggots? You mentioned cleaning completely yet y’all didn’t find where they were coming from? First eliminate the home of the babies and the ones that can fly will follow suit.
I didn’t find any maggots while cleaning, we had cypress mulch as our substrate so they would be easy to spot. I think they may be breeding in the dumpsters in the ally behind our house.

Where are you?

Introducing non-native species is an ecological disaster waiting to happen. Many examples can be seen of the harm done by this all over the globe.

Encouraging or helping native species of fly predators is great. I think a multi-pronged approach of encouraging the natural predators, eliminating where they are coming from, and using fly traps will be the most effective strategy.
I am in Lubbock, Texas. The whole city is inundated with flys for about 6 months of the year.

I know we have lizards here but I’ve never seen them on my property. Would it be a better plan to find a native species of lizard?

Also, I know there is a population of native toads because last summer for about a week we had thousand of babies in our yard. Maybe this is a better option?

I’m not sure if anyone has experience with this type of release, but do the animals tend to stick around? It seems beneficial to do so if there is a healthy supply of food (flys) to eat.
Introducing non-native species as biological controls seldom works out well...

#marinetoads

Jamie
What about a native spieces of lizard or toad?
 

Relic

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I live in N. Texas, and flies can be a problem here, too...assuming there is a "draw" for them: a carcass, rotting food, etc. They show up occasionally in my pen if fruit remains uneaten. It sounds like your local dumpster is the draw, and you will not be able to fix that. But I fear anoles are not your answer. We have approximately 87 billion anoles on our residential lot (give or take a few billion) and they have no noticeable effect on the flies. Flies come and go. (I also don't think adding anoles will wreak environmental catastrophe for your tortoises, based on experience, but what do I know?) Not sure what your best approach is, but anoles probably isn't it...
 

Relic

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Native species already have a spot in the ecosystem, and won't cause the disruption that introduced species will.

Jamie
There was a time anoles were not a part of our native wildlife where I live. They migrated in from the east in the mid-1970s and were only very occasionally seen. Now they scamper about like they own the place. I guess "native species" can evolve over time.
 

batrider

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Hi everyone,

Last season we had a major house fly problem even with habitual cleaning and sub weekly substrate changing. I think the part of the country we are in has a large number of flys. We tried many different methods but nothing worked. Basil plants, fly traps, fly tape, and water bags with coins.

So my question is, would it be a problem to introduce anoles into our back yard to keep the fly problem in check? I understand from prior research that co habitation of species is frowned upon because of disease transfer. However, the way I look at it, the flys are a much more common vector for disease transfer and we may be reducing risk of exposure by introducing anoles or geckos.

Is this a good idea or a bad idea?

Thank you all for your experience and information. Despite this being my first post I have used this site extensively to research and keep my grumpy boy happier.
We live in Florida, so we have an abundance of anoles and geckos everywhere. They don't seem to care about our tortoise, nor does he care about them. Believe it or not, we have very few houseflies in our area. We see perhaps only 2 or 3 per year. I don't know if the lack of flies is due to lizard predation, as I have never seen them eat anything capable of rapid flight. If anything, they may eat maggots. My totally unscientific conclusion is that the lizards won't endanger your tortoise, but they won't offer any solution to your fly problem unless they can attack their maggots.
 

TammyJ

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What is your setup (enclosure) for the tortoises? Any pictures?
 

Pastel Tortie

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We live in Florida, so we have an abundance of anoles and geckos everywhere. They don't seem to care about our tortoise, nor does he care about them. Believe it or not, we have very few houseflies in our area. We see perhaps only 2 or 3 per year. I don't know if the lack of flies is due to lizard predation, as I have never seen them eat anything capable of rapid flight. If anything, they may eat maggots. My totally unscientific conclusion is that the lizards won't endanger your tortoise, but they won't offer any solution to your fly problem unless they can attack their maggots.
Depending on where you are in Florida, there could be heavy spraying for mosquitoes in your area. It's possible that those pesticides hit other species besides the mosquitoes they target.
 
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