Black and white cow with flies on it's face

Tips on mid-season fly control

Preparation is vital when it comes to making sure your herd is ready as fly populations start to soar.

Thanks to climate change we are seeing an increase in the overall fly population as the winter months become milder, leading to increased reproduction and survival.

This also means it’s a good idea for a second application of fly control product around August. Treating both your herd and the environment early in the season means managing the fly population by removing flies before they can reproduce.

Following up with further treatments as the season progresses will keep fly numbers in check and reduce the amount over winter which could become a problem in spring.

With more than 20 different species affecting livestock in the UK, flies are one of the biggest ectoparasite problems faced by farmers across the country, leading to:

  • Milk losses
  • Health and safety problems with dairy cattle kicking out more in the parlour
  • Reduced live weight gains by up to 0.5Kg a day
  • The spread of diseases like new forest eye, schmallenberg and mastitis

Fly activity can cause escape behaviour and possible injury, restlessness, skin rippling or simply stamping and tail swishing.

And all these changes result in reduced time spent feeding and decreased performance. Over the course of a summer this decreased performance will add up, causing significant financial losses at a time when beef prices and farmgate milk prices remain strong.

We often treat problems only when they become a real issue, however when it comes to flies, it’s better to treat early on before they arise.

One way you can ensure you know when you are due to treat is to speak to a Mole Valley Farmers in-store Registered Animal Medicines Advisor. We can help put together a parasite control plan for your cattle to ensure you know exactly when and what to use to maximise the performance of your herd and get the most out of any treatments.

There are a few different options for fly control and an in-store RAMA would be able to help you make the best decision based on your farm and animal’s needs, along with other options like garlic buckets, bait traps and parlour spray.

Deltamethrin, the active ingredient found in Deltamole, is a potent neurotoxin to insects, causing a rapid ‘knock-down’ kill once a fly lands on the treated animal.

It is also cost effective. A 2.5 litre pack treats 83 adult cattle, providing protection for 8 to 10 weeks at a cost of less than nine pence per head, per week.

Deltamole is also rain fast - giving you confidence whatever the British summer weather might have in store.

Increased fly risk areas to consider:

  • Grazing near a river on wet land
  • Muck heaps
  • Areas with poor ventilation such as sheds and calf hutches
  • High density of stock areas

These areas would benefit from added protection like fly buckets and fly tapes

Here are some tips to ensure you are prepared:

  • Speak with your RAMA to ensure treatment with the right product, at the right time for your situation
  • Consider the options: pour-on, spot-on, ear tags and other natural repellents like garlic buckets.
  • What is most suitable for your herd? Think about how often you can get them in, withdrawal, has your previous product been effective enough?
  • Ensure the product is applied correctly. One of the main causes of product failure is incorrect application