Controlling Flies Around Cattle

While most people think of flies as a single entity, there are actually four species that impact livestock herds: houseflies, horn flies, stable flies and face flies.

K-State Research and Extension veterinary entomologist Cassandra Olds outlines the best ways to control flies in livestock herds, a problem that she says “plagues most producers most years.”

“Lucky for us, each fly has a preference for where it likes to be on the animal, or not on the animal,” Olds said, noting that horn flies prefer the animal’s back or belly; stable flies are common on the front legs; houseflies hang out around the feed bunk; and face flies are found on the animal’s face.

“Each fly can lay 100 eggs every couple days, so over her lifetime, she may lay 500 eggs,” Olds said. “So getting rid of adults is important, but getting rid of the places where they breed is more important. By knowing which fly pest you have, you can look for areas where these flies may be breeding.”