Choose the right fly control method
Tags, pour-ons, dust bags, oilers, knockdown sprays, feed additives, baits
- Fly tags are a popular choice, however it is important that you diligently rotate active ingredients or types of insecticide to ensure resistance is not easily built up to a certain fly tag. It is also important to remove all old tags immediately after the season. Most fly tags provide good coverage for only 30-60 days. Thus, fly tags should be one part of your fly control plan, not the entire plan.
Dust bags, oilers
- Oilers and dustbags are best in forced use scenarios. This means the cattle are required to go under them in a gateway, around a mineral feeder, or any high use area. Success is dependent on keeping these “charged” or containing the insecticide. They are a great low labor tool to re-apply fly control.
- Sprays are effective in immediately decreasing fly loads on animals. However, they do not provide much residual control and thus must be re-applied frequently. This adds labor and sometimes stress to the animal. Some sprays do have residual, but only for 1 to 2 weeks. Remember wear protective clothing, eye protection, and do not spray near feed and water.
- Lastly, feed additives like IGR can be fed through mineral or tubs. This prevention method is great at breaking the life-cycle of the fly. This is perceived as a more costly method of fly control. It cannot kill your neighbor’s flies. You need to start feeding IGR at least two weeks prior to fly season. This method is very low labor and very low stress on the animals.
Fly control is important to helping ensure performance is not hampered and that your herd stays healthy and disease free. Consult with your veterinarian or Extension specialist on a fly control plan and keep good records of previous years to maintain effective control within your herd.
Download the Fly Control Fact Sheet.