Problems From Flies Not a Small Issue for Livestock Industry

Whether you’re a beef producer or dairy operator, flies are a problem that livestock owners can’t ignore.

Mark Upton, Director of Sales for Feed Additives Group at Central Life Sciences, says to this day some in the industry minimize the damage flies can do, and how challenging it can be to recoup those losses.

He says flies are not “just a nuisance,” but can eat away at a producers bottom-line. When it comes to the beef cattle, the horn fly is the top problem. “It’s the #1 economic threat, about $1 billion in damage a year is done by that horn fly alone. And so, what we would recommend is a product called Altosid that you’re feeding. When that horn fly goes and lays its eggs in manure it prevents them from becoming an adult.”

Upton added typically when your cattle are on pasture, you can have one treatment and get good control.

However, when it comes to confinement, operators will need to look at two or three measures, which he called an integrated pest management approach.

“You need to clean up spilled feed, you need to keep the manure scrapped. You need to look at the silage pit, try to keep in cleaned up. There are multiple sites that these flies can breed, and there are multiple flies, so you’re going to have to do two or three things.  We would recommend a fee through at those operations as well. But, then, maybe add to that a scatter bait. Or maybe a spray, something like that to attack them at two or three different levels.”

Upton acknowledged hot dry weather can help with fly populations, but it is by no means a control method. He added it’s best of producers to plan now for their fly management program.

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