Developing an Integrated Pest Management Plan

The science behind fly control has advanced dramatically in the last 40 years. A variety of products — both chemical and biological — used in conjunction with proper sanitation can help reduce the economic losses associated with these flying pests.

Entomologists advise starting an integrated pest management (IPM) plan long before flies are active. Improved manure management practices has helped reduce the fly population at many feedyards. If an IPM is implemented early, when fly numbers are low, a variety of biological agents can be used to prevent the occurrence of large fly populations.

Many operations, especially confined feeding operations, have had success with parasitic wasps or fly parasites that disrupt the fly life cycle by targeting the fly pupae. Cattle on pasture benefit from feed-through insect growth regulators that inhibit fly development. Fly traps and baits target flies in barns and other areas. And a variety of chemical agents such as sprays, oilers, tags, back rubbers, etc. also help alleviate adult fly problems.

Achieving control of a fly problem is best achieved by utilizing a variety of control methods. According to, it’s best to target the entire fly population, both the unhatched flies and the adult flies.

There are many types of flies, and the type of control best suited for each is dependent on producers’ ability to identify the type of fly. Likely you and your cattle are not bothered by only one type of fly, but discovering the variety of ways to control the different flies is essential in achieving control of the problem.

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