Don't Leave Your Herd Unprotected Against Flies

Jul 01, 2020

Tara Jo Bina
Countryside Feed Nutrition
Many of us start thinking about controlling flies in late spring. Implementing fly control strategies early makes a big difference on fly populations, but what about managing flies later in the summer? Eliminating flies is an impossible task, but it is our responsibility to help keep cows as comfortable as possible. And when we add elevated fly control to cow comfort programs, the bulk tank can really show the difference!
The best fly control programs take a multifaceted approach. Consider combining several of the following to help manage flies throughout the summer.
  • Feed through larvicides: You can put a dent in the number of flies on your operation by feeding Clarifly® or Altosid®.These products prevent larva from developing into adult biting flies. Reduced fly numbers are generally observed about 3 weeks after being introduced to cattle and needs to be included in the rations of all animals on the farm to maximize effectiveness.
  • Feed additives: Other feed additives such as Cinnagar® and Garlic have field observations suggesting a potential benefit in deterring insects from biting cows.
  • Sprays: There are many fly sprays on the market that are very effective but require frequent application.
  • Pour-ons: Several pour-ons are available for use on lactating cows but using water for cow cooling can limit its effectiveness.
  • Limit environmental factors: This is a commonly overlooked, yet very important component of fly control. Since larvae are laid in manure, frequently cleaning pens and properly managing manure pits can make a big difference!
  • Premise sprays: Several effective premise sprays are on the market. These products are designed to be applied around the farm to manage the number of flies.
With all larvicides and sprays it is important to identify what species of flies the product is effective on. If you are having problems with face flies, for example, make sure these are a species the product is labeled for.
Managing flies around a dairy is no easy task, but your cows will thank you for keeping them comfortable by maintaining summer production better. Contact your Countryside Feed representative to discuss developing a well-rounded fly control program.

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