Flies tend to be a main problem especially if you live in a humid area where they might be more abundant. They are more than an annoyance to cattle and also carry disease. Some type of flies feed on cattle, causing anemia and affecting the production of milk. You might not be able to completely eliminate flies, but you can reduce their numbers among your cattle, choosing from a handful of means.
Cow flies are much smaller than a common house or common face-fly; gray in colour with two dark stripes running along its body. Its head has two reddish compound-type eyes and has biting-mouth parts which it uses to pierce and suck blood from its cattle host; taking up to 20 to 25 blood meals daily. Just imagine the explosive implications of 1,000 horn flies on each cow that seem even more attracted to the herd.it is estimated that a heavy infestation of 1,000 horn flies per cow can draw about 10 ml of blood per day.
Luckily, when a population explosion of horn flies does occurs, there are several proven methods that effectively can reduce their counts on cattle by as much as 90 to 95 per cent. Most of these programs involve commercial insecticides which kill them by disrupting vital nerve functions. Here is a breakdown of the effect that they have on cows and three of the most popular applications and effect that dispense these insecticides in order to control their numbers:
Oddly enough, it doesn’t take that many horn flies to have a significant pest problem on pasture. A nominal count of 200 flies on the back of each cow or calf can:
- Increase animal stress; make animals skittish and reduce grazing time.
- Can cause 20 per cent decrease in milk production.
- Encourage bunching and increased heat-stress severity.
- Spring calves are 5 to 10 kg. lighter at weaning time.
- Reduce cattle immune function to fight disease.
- Spread of disease among cattle such as anaplasmosis.
- Replacement heifers have higher rates of infertility.
Spray your animals with insecticide
They are available in agrovets. This works best if you have a small number of animals. After all, hand-spraying a thousand cows is nobody’s idea of fun. Keep in mind that sprays are temporary, and you will have to reapply the product every few weeks-more often if it rains, as the water can wash it off the animals’ backs.
Buy fly control ear tags
These tags which look very similar to identification tags.They are sprayed with insecticide which will deliver a constant supply of chemicals to the animals, killing flies on the skin. With this method, you’ll have to remove tags before cold season to prevent flies from becoming accustomed and immune to the chemicals. After this season, you’ll start again with fresh tags.
Add liquid insecticides to the feed
Known as feed-through chemicals, these are absorbed slowly by the body, making the skin toxic to the larvae but not the adult flies. Some companies sell insecticides in the form of salt blocks, which cattle lick to ingest to absorb the chemicals, or as special mineral supplements with insecticide added to them.
Several types of grazing flies could be hurting your animals and your livestock production. They can attack all types of animals including bulls, cows, and calves. Moreover ,they are known to spread diseases and infection which can harm your farm production. Therefore,use these methods and you will easily get rid of them.