Don’t Fall Behind: 30/30 Approach for Fly Control

Published on Thu, 08/04/2022 - 2:31pm

Don’t Fall Behind: 30/30 Approach for Fly Control.

 Article provided by Central Life Sciences.

 Spring marks the beginning of a fly’s life cycle. That’s why it’s critical to get a head start on fly control before the season begins by minimizing the number of overwintering pupae. During the colder months, flies seek shelter inside. They tend to gather in close quarters where they cluster and hide before re-emerging once the weather turns. Once they emerge, these large fly populations can wreak havoc on animals and people around your operation.

Therefore, to increase livestock comfort and profitability, start applications of feed-through fly control before spring weather hits for effective control of house flies, horn flies, stable flies and face flies.

The Problem
Fly infestations significantly impact production on dairy farms and beef cattle operations. Left unchecked, some fly populations can swell up to 4,000 flies per animal, which translates to a substantial economic loss. Without a proactive fly management program in place, diseases and reductions in weight and milking productivity resulting from flies can take a significant toll on the comfort of animals and an operation’s bottom line. ClariFly® Larvicide and Altosid® IGR from Central Life Sciences provide producers with protection against the damaging impact of flies. The products do not directly affect production but provide control for the nuisance flies that do. Both product lines are mixed into cattle feed and passed through the cow’s digestive system and into manure, where they interrupt the fly’s life cycle, preventing development into the adult stage. The active ingredient in each line of products targets specific modes of action that are not harmful to birds, fish, reptiles, mammals or beneficial insects.

30/30 Approach
With the annual spring emergence of flies starting the pest’s life cycle each year, limiting the number of overwintering pupae is an essential step in controlling fly populations before the season begins. However, precisely planning exactly when to target the overwintering pupae can be challenging given the unpredictability of seasonal weather patterns. For example, Madison, Wisconsin, typically experiences the first frost of the season in the first week of October. However, the date has been recorded as early as September 12 and as late as November 12.

It is also common for many regions of the country to experience several weeks of warm weather after the first recorded frost of the fall/winter season or before the final frost in spring. When you need to account for the unpredictable nature of frost dates, Central Life Sciences recommends taking a “30/30” approach to fly control on your operations.  
The “30/30” approach encourages operations using ClariFly® Larvicide or Altosid® IGR to start including the products in their feed or supplement early in the spring.

Get started with the 30/30 approach with these three easy steps:
1. Know when to start feeding, which is approximately 30 days before the average daily daytime temperatures reach 65°F. This is when overwintering flies emerge.
2. Continue feeding through the fall, 30 days after the first frost has been recorded. This is to help reduce overwintering pupae, giving you a jump start on the next fly season.
3. Implement a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) program that includes biological, physical-mechanical, and cultural efforts to reinforce your fly control.  

An IPM program is a pest control strategy that uses an array of complementary methods, best cultural practices and fly control products. The initial planning phase, which includes identifying problem flies, analyzing their routines, and establishing a management strategy, is critical to the success of any IPM program. Once the target pests have been identified, a successful IPM strategy must advance to the implementation phase, which involves using a variety of complementary approaches to combat flies.

The three primary product types that can support a feed-through solution in an IPM program are traps, baits and sprays. Sticky and jug traps are best in areas where chemical control is not an option, such as in milking parlors and feeding areas. Scatter baits offer chemical control and can be used in non-sensitive applications such as dumpsters and equipment barns. Sprays are easy-to-use solutions and can serve a wide variety of applications. Some sprays can be used directly on livestock, while others can be used in and around structures to prevent the spread of fly infestations.  

The Solution
To account for the unpredictable nature of frost dates, Central Life Sciences recommends taking a “30/30” approach to fly control on dairy and beef operations. Feeding rates are 0.10 mg per kg of body weight (hundred pounds of body weight) per day for ClariFly® Larvicide and 1.13 mg per kg per day for Altosid® IGR, though users should always consult the product label for exact instructions. Maintain the process into the fall season until 30 days after the first frost has been recorded. Countless studies have shown that flies can cause severe economic damage to both dairy and beef operations. The effects are very real to producers, and the importance of controlling fly populations has never been more critical.

By following a “30/30” approach, producers can get ahead of the fly population in the spring before it builds to a level that exceeds the economic threshold. By continuing to feed 30 days past the average first frost date in the fall, producers can reduce the total number of overwintering pupae, thus giving them a head start on the population for the following year. When incorporated into a complete IPM program, the use of ClariFly® Larvicide or Altosid® IGR with a “30/30” approach can help producers account for the unpredictability of the seasons and significantly lower fly populations while increasing cattle comfort and profitability.

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