Calf pens and hutches provide an ideal environment for flies. Not only do flies spread disease to calves, but they also cause the calf discomfort and stress, reducing feed intake and affecting the health and growth of your calves. Land O’Lakes Purina Feed calf and heifer specialist Gary Geisler, offers the following management tips to reduce your calf housing’s fly population.
An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan is the most cost-effective way to reduce fly populations and the stress they cause the calf.
• This starts with cleaning up spilled feed and milk, eliminating standing water, clipping grass, and storing manure and soiled bedding away from the calf facilities.
• Since flies lay eggs in manure, consider using a feed-through larvicide in both milk replacer and calf starter to break the fly lifecycle.
• Use scatter baits when you see adult flies around calves. If and when fly populations really get out of control, use pesticides that kill flies on contact.
• Add the feed-through larvicide to your calf feed program 30 days before the fly season starts and 30 days after a killing frost.
Get your fly control program in place before the flies arrive this spring. Reducing the stress caused by flies will allow your calves to concentrate on eating, resting and growing.
Source: Land O'Lakes Purina Feed