Steps to help control fly populations on your farm

We have to admit that after the horrible winter we’ve experienced, many of us might welcome flies this spring since they bring warm temperatures with them. However, after a few days of nice weather ― and a few more flies ― we might not feel so hospitable.

Dairy Herd Management recently posted an article, “Plan ahead for the demise of flies,” that included tips on how to control fly populations on your farm. Patricia Westenbroek with Cornell Cooperative Extension recommended establishing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach now to effectively manage future fly populations.

There are four components to control fly populations on your farm with an IPM strategy:

  1. Cultural control – Employ effective sanitation practices to keep the environment as clean and dry as possible. Female adult flies love to lay their eggs in manure, decaying silage, spilled feed, soiled bedding and other organic matter.
  2. Biological control – Insect predators and parasites can help reduce fly larvae and pupae populations. Some – like the hister beetle – appear naturally, while others – like parasitic wasps – can be purchased and released into the environment.
  3. Chemical control – There are a wide variety of chemical products available to help control flies. Always make sure the product is legal in your state and follow the instructions on the label.
  4. Physical control – tapes, traps and lights are forms of physical control aimed at attracting and killing adult flies. When combined, these steps will go a long way in helping control the fly population on your farm.

Click here to read the full article. Do you have any additional tips to share?

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