Mistakes Farmers Make When Dealing with Cattle Flies

Everyone loves the warm temps that the hotter months bring. But warm weather isn't all good news for your livestock, including your cattle. One group of pests that particularly loves the warm weather is flies, and when they are around, your cattle are at risk. That is why it is important to control fly populations.

But simply knowing that you need fly control is not enough. It's important to learn the process in and out so you don't make any mistakes along the way. Let's make today the day to start the process.

Table of Contents

  • Common Mistakes in Dealing with Flies on Cattle
  • Mistake #1 Thinking Flies are Just Annoying
  • Mistake #2 Assuming There is Only One Way to Battle Flies
  • Mistake #3 Always Using the Same Method of Dealing with Flies
  • Fly Control Via Feed-Through

Common Mistakes in Dealing with Flies on Cattle

Dealing with Flies on Cattle

The key to dealing with flies is to deal with flies correctly. When doing so, ensure you are not making any of these top three mistakes.

Mistake #1 Thinking Flies are Just Annoying

Are flies annoying to your cows? Yes! Is that all they are? No! 

Several species of flies can spread disease to your cows. These include issues such as pinkeye, mastitis, anthrax, typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, tuberculosis, cholera, Newcastle disease and salmonella. These diseases can devastate your herd, cause extreme pain and discomfort to individual animals, and decrease production yields. They can also be tough to combat once they begin to spread. That's why it is important to do all that you can to prevent disease outbreaks among your herd.

Mistake #2 Assuming There is Only One Way to Battle Flies

There are many different solutions available that may help you combat flies among your cattle population. Some common methods are ear tags, pour-ons, sprays, feedthrough additives, rubs or dusters, and biological controls. Some of these solutions may work better than others in your particular situation. We'll consider that idea a bit more in a moment.

Mistake #3 Always Using the Same Method of Dealing with Flies

When combatting flies, one way to achieve the most effective control is to use a variety of fly control methods. At the same time, you should keep in mind that flies can begin to build up resistance to the chemicals used in different control methods. That's why it's important to periodically change the types or families of chemicals you use during the fly control process. 

By chancing chemicals, you may be able to reduce flies' resistance to a particular chemical. For instance, while ear tags are a very effective treatment, the cattle wearing tags for too long eventually build resistance to the chemical. You'll want to mix up your methods of dealing with flies by removing the tags and adding another solution, such as a feedthrough, to your fly control plan.

Fly Control Via Feedthrough

One effective way to battle flies is with feedthrough larvacides. Feedthrough additives work by breaking the lifecycle of flies, preventing new generations from being produced. They use insect growth regulator larvacides which, when mixed into cattle's mineral or feed, prevent healthy adults from hatching from the eggs laid in the manure of the cows who have eaten it.  

We recommend JustiFLY for fly control. To use it in your battle against flies, mix one add-pack into your feed, mineral, or salt, and then let your cows eat it. After they do, the larvicide passes through the animal and starts to work in the manure where flies lay their eggs. The fly larvae feed on the manure and ingest the larvicide, which inhibits the formation of the chitin that creates their exoskeleton. The flies hatch, but cannot survive and die immediately. This prevents new flies from being born and can reduce their overall presence among your herd. This can help your cattle be happier, healthier and more productive.