News

It’s Time to Prepare for Fly Season!

February 11, 2019

For many of us, fly season is quickly approaching!  Year after year flies pose a significant nuisance and economic threat for cattlemen. USDA scientists have estimated that flies cost the cattle industry in excess of $1 billion dollars, annually. This economic loss can be attributed to reduced feed efficiency and milk production caused by elevated stress levels and blood loss.

Fly Control for Grazing Cattle

Horn flies have proven to be a constant irritation to grazing cattle.  These small, black flies are generally found residing on the backs of cattle.  Typically, these flies live 2-4 weeks, taking 20 to 40 blood meals per day.  If left untreated, fly counts may reach 2,000 to 4,000 flies per animal, consuming up to a gallon of blood in a 135-day fly season!

In addition to being a blood-sucking irritant, these biting pests also spread bacteria, Staph. aureus, which is known to cause mastitis in beef cattle.  Mastitis reduces milk yield and quality, ultimately reducing weaning weights.

Altosid® IGR(Insect Growth Regulator) is a fly control feed additive approved for use in QLF custom free choice liquid and Ignite tubs.  The active ingredient in Altosid® IGR is (S)-Methoprene which disrupts horn fly larvae development in the manure of treated cattle.  (S)-Methoprene was introduced in 1975 and has been proven to be extremely safe and leaves no residue in meat or milk.  Altosid® IGR may be used for pastured beef cows (pregnant or lactating), stocker cattle, or replacement heifers.

Fly Control for Fed Cattle

The persistent biting and irritation of heavy fly populations cause excessive stress on confined cattle. A plethora of data suggests stressed cattle will likely have a reduction in feed efficiency and gain, ultimately impacting profitability.

ClariFly® is a fly control feed additive approved for use in custom QLF force-fed liquids.  ClariFly® prevents house flies, stable flies, face flies, and horn flies from developing in the manure of treated cattle.  The active ingredient in ClariFly® is Diflubenzuron.  Feed supplements containing ClariFly®are extremely safe and contain no withdrawal time for meat or milk.

Supplementation Strategy

As a part of an effective pest management program, the use of supplements containing a fly control feed additive will help control flies and reduce cattle stress.  Ideally, a fly control supplement should be started 30 days before fly development to manage the flies that have survived over the winter months.  Continue fly control supplementation until 30 days after the first frost.  Keep in mind, good sanitation practices are also necessary to reduce fly populations on your operation.

QLF liquid supplements and Ignite tubs are an effective vehicle for fly control additives like ClariFly® or Altosid® IGR. Contact your local QLF representative for more information on QLF fly control products.

Altosid® IGR and ClariFly® have registered trademarks of Wellmark International.

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