As summer rolls around the corner, so does an increased fly population. The pesky insects are annoying in our homes, but it’s farm animals that suffer the most. While houseflies are a nuisance, stable flies are the real problem. Stable flies bite and suck the blood of farm animals and actually irritate them to the point where they can consume less feed, resulting in a slower growth rate. Dairy cattle can even produce less milk when bitten by stable flies, as their body temperature will increase. Fly control on the farm is crucial for your animals’ health and comfort.
Keep Your Barn Clean
Any decaying organic matter in the barn is the perfect breeding ground for flies. Clear out any animal droppings, manure, damp hay, and wet bedding. Also keep feed troughs clean of any debris. Manure should be kept accessible, but far enough away to keep flies from swarming your livestock and barn. It’s also a good idea to use barn fans to keep air moving as flies will have a harder time navigating around your barn and getting to your animals.
Besides keeping your barn clean, there are plenty of products you can use for fly control.
Fly paper – Using fly paper is the oldest trick in the book. While the sticky paper catches flies, it’s pretty gross when it’s covered in the pests and hanging for everyone to see. However, fly paper is an inexpensive and maintenance-free way of trapping flies.
Fly traps – Fly traps have bait inside a container, which lures in pesky flies. They aren’t as unsightly as fly paper and are still relatively inexpensive.
Fly spray – There is fly spray formulated specifically for horses and other farm animals. It not only kills flies, but repels them too. This is a great option when you’re showing your animals or if you only have a few farm animals to look after.
Larvacide – Getting rid of the fly larva before they become adult flies can also greatly help with fly control. Your farm animals can actually help with an oral larvacide. As it goes through their digestive system, the larvacide becomes active in the manure. As flies lay their eggs in the manure, the larvacide kills the fly larva.
Birds and bats are natural fly predators. Encourage the animals to set up around your property by hanging bat houses and bird houses. They’ll feast on flies and other insects that are a nuisance to your farm animals
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