As winter gives way to spring, it's important to start thinking about fly control. With warmer weather comes the emergence of many pests, including flies, which can cause health problems for humans and animals alike. Uncontrolled fly infestations pose a significant threat to the productivity of dairy farms and beef cattle operations. If left unchecked, a single animal can attract up to 4,000 flies, leading to substantial economic losses. These pests can cause a decline in weight and milking productivity, as well as diseases that take a toll on the animals' comfort and the operation's bottom line. Implementing a proactive fly management program is crucial to combat this issue.
The 30/30 Program recommends the use of ClariFly® Larvicide or Altosid® IGR to control fly populations. Producers should start including these products in their feed or supplement early in the spring, 30 days before flies begin to appear through 30 days after the first frost when cold weather reduces or ends fly activity. This time frame ensures an ideal window of treatment with the products, protecting against an unpredictably early or late start to the spring or winter seasons.
To limit the population of overwintering flies that emerge in spring and mark the start of fly season, producers should follow the key steps of the 30/30 Program:
- Begin feeding ClariFly® Larvicide or Altosid® IGR 30 days before average daytime temperatures reach 65° F.
- Continue the process until 30 days after the first frost in the fall.
Numerous studies have highlighted the severe economic damage that flies can cause to both dairy and beef operations. Therefore, it is essential to control fly populations. By adopting a "30/30" approach, producers can get ahead of the fly population in the spring before it builds up 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, giving them a head start on the population for the following year. When incorporated into a complete Integrated Pest Management (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.