Secret Site Map
Friday, March 27, 2015

Home News Fly Control Essential for Beef, Dairy Herd Health

Fly Control Essential for Beef, Dairy Herd Health

Flies

Whether in the pasture or the barn, fly control is an essential part of keeping healthy dairy and beef cattle herds, said Purdue University entomologist Ralph Williams.

| July 20, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Whether in the pasture or the barn, fly control is an essential part of keeping healthy dairy and beef cattle herds, said Purdue University entomologist Ralph Williams.

In pasture cattle the two primary fly pests are horn flies, which are a biting fly, and face flies.

Face flies do not bite, but they feed around the eye tissue and can transmit bacterial conjunctivitis, or pinkeye.

"Horn flies are the No. 1 fly pest in the United States," Williams said. "The threshold at which we recommend control is when those flies reach 200 per animal. It is not uncommon to see a thousand or more horn flies per animal."

While horn flies do not transmit disease, they can cause economic loss by reducing weight gain, feed efficiency and calf weights.

For cattle in confinement, the stable fly is a biting fly that breeds in the accumulating feed waste and soiled bedding. There's no disease associated with them, but they, too, can result in economic loss.

Houseflies are the other common confinement pest. While they're not directly associated with cattle, they can be a nuisance to people and surrounding neighbors.

"In confinement flies are best controlled through sanitation," Williams said. "Farmers should identify and remove fly breeding sites like waste and soiled bedding."

In the pasture, however, fly control can be a bit more challenging. Insecticides can be effective as long as they stay on the animal for an extended time. One such method is through pesticide ear tags.

"For flies in the pasture, insecticide ear tags are really the most suitable to control both face flies and horn flies," Williams said. "Some of the products available are pyrethroids and organophosphates. The pyrethroid-based tags generally are not very effective for horn flies because of a genetic resistance. Most of the organophosphate tags are very efficient for horn fly control. Abamectin is a new product that is available in some tags and has been very effective for both horn flies and face flies."

Some tags also are available with a combination of insecticides that will control both face and horn flies.

Other options include self-applied dust bags in a forced-use situation, which cattle need to access daily, and pour-on insecticides, which can last up to a month. Feed-through insecticides, ingested with feed and released in the manure, also can disrupt flies. But if not all cattle in the area are using them, flies could still be present.

Top news

Pair of Destructive Termites Create New Hybrid Colonies

Two of the most destructive termite species in the world -- responsible for much of the $40 billion in economic loss caused by termites annually -- are now swarming simultaneously in South Florida, creating hybrid colonies that grow quickly and have the potential to migrate to other states.

ESA Announces New BCEs, ACEs and First ACE-International

The Entomological Society of America announced the following: Nine people passed their BCE exam; two ACEs added a "BCE" to their credentials; two people passed the BCE-Intern exam; 23 people passed the ACE exam; and one person passed the new ACE-International exams.

Pollinator Health Issue Takes Center Stage at NPMA Legislative Day ’15

Ongoing efforts to raise awareness and educate congressional representatives about pollinator health and the structural pest control industry was a major focus of this year’s NPMA Legislative Day, held last week in Washington, D.C.

NPMA Board of Directors Approves Pollinators BMPs

During its meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 14, the National Pest Management Association's (NPMA) Board of Directors approved the organization's Pollinator Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Terminix Acquires Two Canadian Pest Control Companies

The company expands its footprint in Canada with acquisitions of Excel Pest Control (New Brunswick) and Cabot Pest Control (Newfoundland).

x