Q. What are some easy ways to minimize fly populations on-farm without spending much money?

A.  Perhaps the simplest, least expensive way to minimize flies is to eliminate their breeding places.  Most flies gather around two common areas – places where manure accumulates and areas with feed spillage.  Therefore, sanitation is essential when looking to control flies. 

  • Keep all housing clean, well-bedded, and dry; and regularly clean gutters, alleys, and pens. 
  • Move your calf hutches occasionally to allow the ground underneath to dry out.
  • Keep manure storage areas as clean and dry as possible. 
  • Clean up areas with feed spillage and repair and clean out leaking waterers. 
  • Enclose feed areas if possible, and always seal the edges of bunks, silos, etc. 

To control surging adult fly populations, insecticides should be used. 

  • Save money by identifying what specific fly species you’re dealing with and selecting the correct insecticides to effectively control that species. Don’t expect a pour-on that controls horn flies and face flies to effectively control stable flies or house flies.

Some farms have seen results by using biological control and maintaining a population of beneficial wasps to minimize flies.  However, biological controls should be implemented before or very early in the fly season. 

A combination of physical, chemical, and biological controls will help you maintain a low level of flies this summer.

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