Extension @ Your Service-Fly Management for Your Livestock

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

As warmer weather quickly approaches, so will various insect pests such as mosquitos, ticks and flies. These pests are often a nuisance around the home and on the farm. In the livestock world, effects of fly infestations on animal health and performance are often underestimated. For example, studies have found that high populations of the Horned fly, can reduce cow weights by 30 pounds. Since cattle producers’ paychecks are based on the weight of their calves, this can result is a significant monetary loss if not managed correctly. In the U.S. alone, experts estimate that cattle producers lose almost one billion dollars because of the Horned fly.

In horses, flies are also more than an annoyance. Flies, such as stable flies, can cause horses to constantly scratch which leads to open wounds that can get infected. Certain fly species are also known to transmit diseases such as Equine Infectious Anemia and pinkeye.

To help curve fly populations, here are several things that livestock owners can do:

  • Remove manure, excess feed, and wasted hay.
  • Keep feed storage areas clean.
  • Locate manure sites or compost piles as far from stables/barns as possible, or move them off property. Flies can travel miles to find your livestock.
  • Rotate pastures regularly to let areas dry out.
  • Spread manure with a drag to encourage drying.
  • Release fly predators. These wasps lay their eggs in fly pupae, then kill the developing fly larvae.
  • Feed an insect growth regulator additive, such as Simplifly, to horses.
  • For horses use protection, such as fly masks, sheets, and boots.
  • For cattle, feed mineral with an insect growth regulator additive.
  • There are also insecticide treated ear tags available for cattle.
  • For all livestock there are insecticide sprays (permethrin, pyrethrin) and pour-on treatments available (just a note: overuse of these sprays can cause fly populations to become resistant so use them wisely.)

Managing fly populations can be a difficult task. It is important to remember that there is no “silver bullet” to kill off all the flies on your property. Those livestock owners who are successful at managing fly populations employ several of these practices on their farm. An integrated plan using a variety of these methods is better than any of them alone, especially spraying your livestock with permethrin once a week throughout the summer. If you do choose an insecticide as part of your management plan, it is extremely important that you to read the product’s label before applying it to your animals.

If you have any questions concerning livestock management or insect control on your farm please contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Richmond County office for more information.

Anthony Growe

Extension Agent- Agriculture

Row Crops and Livestock