Farm - 01-02-2022 - Joe Pescod BVetMed MRCVS - 0 comments
Friendly Fly Control

Fly control

Friendly Fly Control newsletter - Feb 2022

Whilst we are now seeing the hardest frosts we have had all winter, you may be wondering why I'm about to bombard you with the annual fly prevention newsletter. However, as the old saying goes "New Year, new method of fly control."  So, please bear with and read on.

Nuisance and biting flies cause a number of issues, including:-

  • Spreading disease, increasing mastitis and ocularinfection.
  • Irritation in the parlour, kicking off the cluster.
  • Reduced feed intakes and in turn, yield.
  • Constant irritation, leading to damage to farm infrastructure and wounds when itching (Flystrike!)

Reducing the fly population through the spring and summer (and our mild autumns!), can be a time-consuming headache and the consequences of Summer Mastitis (£250-300 per case, AHDB) and New Forest Eye (reduced DLW at weaning), are expensive and frustrating.

Our typical methods of control are synthetic pyrethroids and pyrethrins (Spot-On) and ivermectins (various - mec and - mectin pour-on/injectable products). Whilst these are effective products and will remain a necessary tool in our arsenal, it is important that we react to new information.

  • There is evidence that resistance can develop in fly populations to some of these chemicals, meaning their effectiveness may be decreasing over time.
  • These insecticides have a detrimental effect on soil health. As the name suggests, these chemicals indiscriminately target insects, removing the many species of dung beetles which are critical to soil fertility.
  • Adult flies seen on farm only make up 15% of the population - the other 85% are in the larval stage, which will be unaffected by pour-on solutions until adulthood. By the time they land on the cattle to feed, they may have laid many more eggs so the population will keep increasing even as the adults are killed.

Click the link at the top of the page to view the complete newsletter from the team and what meetings we have planned.





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