More Than Just Fly Control

More Than Just Fly Control

Article and photos courtesy of Central Life Sciences

Managing nuisance insects can be challenging without the appropriate products and integrated pest management strategies. Over time, Central Life Sciences has expanded its product range to include additional solutions for combating flies, fire ants, cockroaches, and other pests labeled as threats to your operation. Offering diverse solutions, we provide the necessary products to combat harmful insects prevalent in your environment.


Flies are more than just a nuisance on operations; they can significantly impact productivity and profitability without effective control measures in place. Managing diseases transmitted by flies requires employing various methods such as fly traps, baits, and

on-animal treatments to curb fly populations. For instance, house flies, stable flies, face flies, and horn flies are significant concerns in dairy operations due to their ability to transmit over 65 disease-causing organisms, contributing to ailments like Salmonella, mastitis, and pinkeye among cattle.

Central Life Sciences’ ClariFly® Larvicide and Altosid® IGR offer producers protection against the damaging impact of flies. The products don’t directly affect production but provide control for the nuisance flies that do. Both product lines are mixed into cattle feed and passed through the cow’s digestive system and into manure, where they interrupt the life cycle of the fly, preventing development into the adult stage. The active ingredient in each provides target-specific modes of action that are not harmful to birds, fish, reptiles, mammals, or beneficial insects.

When proper fly control isn’t in place, your animals can become stressed and uncomfortable, ultimately lowering overall productivity and profitability. 

Numerous species of flies can be a nuisance to your operation. They can not only annoy animals and humans alike but also affect animal comfort, health, and profitability. By implementing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program with Starbar®, ClariFly® Larvicide, and Altosid® IGR products, you can protect your operation from costly fly infestations.


Cockroaches, often overlooked on agricultural operations, pose significant threats to cattle, employees, and the bottom line. Besides contaminating food and spreading diseases, they act as reservoirs and mechanical vectors for various illnesses. Transmission of these diseases includes inhalation, digestion, and cross-contamination. Not only does this affect humans, but it also affects cattle. Some of the diseases and bacteria cockroaches spread include Sarcocystosis, Salmonella, and Listeriosis.

Sarcocystosis is a disease often found in cattle, and they can contract it through ingestion after cockroaches contaminate their food. Signs of illness in cattle may include weakness, muscle spasms, weight loss, abortions, and possibly death.

When roaches crawl in filthy places, they compile Salmonella. After remaining in their digestive system for about a month, it can be transferred and released through their vomit and droppings. Salmonella can cause a wide range of clinical signs in cattle, such as joint infections, abortion, dysentery, chronic pneumonia, and sudden death. This disease is also commonly transmitted to animals by contamination of feed and water but can be found anywhere, such as in animal bedding gates and pens.

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection of the brain, and it can affect a wide variety of animals, including cattle, birds, pigs, and humans. While this disease affects the nervous system, it can lead to other problems such as stillbirths, abortion, and encephalitis. The ingestion of bacteria causes most infections. However, direct contact or inhalation with the bacteria can also cause infection.

Products such as Cyanarox® Insecticidal Bait and Exhalt™ WDG Insect Growth Regulator from Starbar® allow you to protect your operation from the dangerous and costly effects of cockroaches.

Fire Ants

Fire ant infestations can irritate your cattle, causing reduced weight gains and injuries. Even more concerning, stings from fire ants can harm or even kill livestock, especially the young. When fire ants settle into pastures, they often forage for food or moisture in the same areas where livestock graze, according to NC State Extension Publications. 

Extinguish® Plus is the best answer to any fire ant problems on your operation. Extinguish® Plus was designed to offer both short-term and long-term relief from fire ants endangering pastures and livestock. It combines the killing power of an adulticide, Hydramethylnon, and the long-lasting control of the insect growth regulator (IGR), (S)-methoprene.

The dual action of an adulticide and an insect growth regulator (IGR) in Extinguish® Plus kills worker ants and sterilizes the queen, resulting in a one-two punch for fire ants, a quick reduction of mounds, and the confidence that the ants will be completely extinguished through the IGR. Extinguish® Plus is approved for use where cattle graze with no worries about withdrawal periods.

With Extinguish® Plus by your side, you’ll start to see fire ant colonies dwindle in about one week. And the entire colony could be eliminated within as little as two weeks.


Because cattle often live and congregate closely together, ticks can multiply and spread rapidly, allowing some insects to turn into a tick infestation on cattle quickly. These blood-sucking insects spread diseases to both humans and cattle, hindering performance and bottom lines.

To effectively protect livestock from ticks, it’s essential to follow a checklist:

Regularly check livestock for ticks in key areas such as the head, ears, brisket, trailhead, udder, and between the legs. Report any findings to the local health department or state animal health official for further guidance and monitoring. Be vigilant for symptoms indicating tick-borne illnesses, such as high fever and weakness, and seek veterinary care promptly if observed. Additionally, maintain pasture hygiene by cutting down brush or weedy areas, reducing tick habitat, and minimizing exposure risk for livestock.

For effective tick control, use a product like Prolate/Lintox-HD™ Insecticide. Able to be used as a pour-on, mist spray, or in a backrubber, its synergized formulation provides effective treatment of ticks.


Lice can cause intense irritation and affect the appearance of livestock due to rubbing and scratching. Many lice species affect cattle, but the main ones are either biting or sucking lice. Biting lice feed on skin debris while sucking lice suck blood and can cause anemia if infestations are heavy enough. 

By killing listed parasitic flies and controlling lice, Inhibidor™ Insecticidal Pour-On can enable more efficient production by keeping your animals comfortable while protecting your bottom line. Other products for lice control include Cattle Armor™ 1% Synergized Pour On, Starbar® UL-100 EC Insecticidal Spray, Prolate/Lintox HD™ Insecticide, Starbar® E-Pro Adulticide Spray, and Pyronyl™ Crop Spray.

Central Life Sciences understands the detrimental losses that these insects pose to cattle, employees, and your bottom line. With products scientifically tailored to insect behavior at pinpoint locations, our Starbar®, ClariFly® Larvicide, and Altosid® IGR products can help you keep your cattle healthy and comfortable all season. To learn more, visit

Altosid, Cattle Armor, ClariFly, Cyanarox, Exhalt, Extinguish, Inhibidor, Prolate/Lintox HD, Pyronyl, and Starbar are trademarks of Wellmark International.

Maintaining Control with Fly Populations

Maintaining Control with Fly Populations

Article and photos courtesy of Champion Animal Health

When it comes to the health and wellness issues that producers need to monitor to keep their livestock in good condition and their bottom line intact, fly control is one of the biggest issues. Here’s why: Not only do fly species transmit more than 60 diseases from animal to animal, but heavy infestations of certain types of flies, can also result in significant blood loss, stress, and weight loss.

“The biggest impact flies have on cattle is stress,” says Andre Rocha, President of Champion Animal Health. Cattle should be laying around, relaxing and gaining weight. Fly bites are painful. To get away from flies, cattle walk, they stomp, they swat, they throw their heads, they worry.” In addition, as Rocha explains, mama cows produce 15-20% less milk when stressed, which results in less gain for the calves. When cattle are living stress-free lives, they graze, they rest. It comes down to relaxed cows gaining more weight, and putting more dollars in the cattleman’s pocket. Controlling flies decreases stress, allowing more weight gain which, in turn, allows more profit.

Originally founded in Brazil, Champion Animal Health entered the United States marketplace in 2016, much to the satisfaction of ranchers and farmers across the country. The company celebrates a rich 70-year history that not only includes animal health product development, but also involvement as ranch owners and producers in the livestock market, owning thousands of acres and thousands of head of cattle. This means the Champion team truly understands animal health and behavior.

Eight years after entering the U.S. marketplace, Champion USA continues the vision of bringing the highest-quality products into the livestock market for distribution while it supplies the animal production chain with products that lead to profitability. One such fly control product, JustiFLY®, is turning out to be a game changer in the area of fly control within the cattle industry. In fact, Champion Brazil was the first company in the world to use diflubenzuron – the active ingredient in JustiFLY® – as fly control for the cattle market.

At its core, JustiFLY® is an insect growth regulator (IGR) that controls all four flies that affect cattle, including the horn fly, stable fly, house fly and face fly. Many IGRs on the market cover only the horn fly, which is the species typically seen on pasture cattle.

But as Rocha explains, for producers that feed cattle in pens or feed round bales, the stable fly will be the most impactful to their cattle, causing pain and stress to the animals.

“When you see cattle stomping, then they are being bothered by stable flies,” Rocha says. “The same goes for the house fly and face fly. Those two flies get missed in some of the other IGRs.”

So what makes JustiFLY® stand out in the field of fly control products? For starters, Champion’s fly control requires zero cattle handling. This means no gathering, penning, spraying, ear tagging, stressing cattle, etc. It comes in a delivery system that cattle are already using – specifically, mineral, blocks or feed.

In addition, the product is dung beetle friendly. Beneficial insects like the dung beetle are important for the natural balance of pasture and soil.

“There’s also no withdrawal period for slaughter animals or milk disposal time for dairy cattle that have been on JustiFLY®,” Rocha says. “It’s a very safe product. It is even recognized as safe for natural beef programs through IMI Global’s Where Food Comes From. And JustiFLY’s feedthrough IGR fly control, which has proven to have no pest resistance that is commonly experienced with ear tags or sprays, interrupts the life cycle during molting. This results in the insect’s inability to develop resistance.

“All of the JustiFLY® products use IGR technology,” Rocha says. “With most of the products being a feedthrough, the effectiveness happens in the manure. Cattle ingest the product by eating mineral, blocks, or feed that has been treated with JustiFLY®. It goes directly through the animal and into the manure where it becomes active. Fly larvae feed on the microbes in manure and ingest the larvicide. They molt into pupae, but the chitin inhibitor in JustiFLY® doesn’t let the larvae hatch into healthy adults. The life cycle ends there.”

Champion recognizes that cattle ranches and farms vary in size and complexity. That’s why the company offers several options for larvicide delivery in their fly control product segment. The most popular product is the JustiFLY® Feedthrough 3% in the small add pack size, proportioned to be mixed with a 50-lb bag of free-choice mineral.

As Rocha explains, cattlemen simply pour in the add pack and mix it into the mineral. It is also sold in larger bags of the same product, for larger operations. Cattle will ingest it as they feed on the mineral.

For on-site mixing into TMR, most operations prefer the JustiFLY® 0.67% Premix. Champion also offers a liquid feed additive option to be added to liquid feed tanks upon charging that gives the same opportunity for fly control. Cattle ingest the product as they lick on the liquid feed. The company’s Fly-A-Salt® blocks, a salt block treated with the IGR fly control, is the simplest way to feed the product.

“This last winter, we brought JustiFLY® Pour-On 5-5 to the market that is a combination of 5% permethrin and 5% diflubenzuron. The most popular use for the pour on is for lice treatment,” Rocha says. “The permethrin kills what is on the cattle at the moment, then the diflubenzuron works on the nits to end the life cycle. And of course, it works on immediately treating flies on the animal.”

Most recently this spring, Champion launched its horse product, JustiFLY® Equine 8-8-8. It is a top dress that is fed daily to get the same benefits of controlling the next generation of flies for horse owners. Small blocks for horses will be released later this year.

So what are some key ways that cattle producers can establish a solid fly control program? Start by recognizing that there are four distinct fly species that affect cattle – something many cattle producers don’t realize.
“Each fly species prefers a specific environment to thrive. The more producers understand what they are dealing with, the better they can control their fly population,” Rocha says. “Feedthrough IGR fly control is such an easy and effective method to deal with fly problems, but there are many IGRs on the market. Producers need to make sure they are using the right one for their operation.”

For example, using an IGR that only treats a horn fly, does work…on the horn fly. But it may not seem to be working when the cattle continue to have stable flies and house flies all over them. And with the stable fly being the most economically impactful, it needs to be one that is covered in a producer’s chosen fly control product.

In addition, with fly control – all cattle need to be treated, not just one pen or pasture.

“Flies travel. And it takes teamwork. If you are doing all the fly control and your neighbor across the fence does none, his flies are going to fly over to your cows and bother them,” Rocha says.

Do you have questions about which JustiFLY® product is ideal for your specific operation? Champion Animal Health’s customer support line is a resource customers can use to discuss and choose the best product.
“Folks always seem to need information on feedthrough, especially first-time users,” Rocha says. “We are available to answer questions and come up with solutions.” To learn more visit

Remove the guesswork from choosing the best fly control for cattle

Remove the guesswork from choosing the best fly control for cattle

Use these tips to sift through fly control options for cattle on pasture.

Article and photos courtesy of Purina Animal Nutrition LLC

Arden Hills, Minn. [March 27, 2024] – Pesky horn flies can become prolific during the grazing season. However, there are control tactics that can help keep horn fly populations under wraps.
When uncontrolled, horn flies can punish cattle with as many as 120,000 bites per day. During peak timeframes, as many as 4,000 horn flies can call a cow’s hide home. At 30 blood meals daily, that adds up to 120,000 bites per cow. These bites are not only irritating your cows, but they’re also biting away at your potential profits. Horn flies account for up to an estimated $1 billion in losses annually for the U.S. cattle industry.[1]
“Early season fly control for cattle goes a long way in keeping populations under control all season long,” says Elizabeth Belew, Ph.D., cattle nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition.
Consider these four methods of fly control as you turn cattle out onto spring pasture:
1. Feed-through
An effective and convenient way to deliver horn fly control for cattle throughout fly season is by feeding a mineral containing an insect growth regulator (IGR).
A feed-through mineral is an excellent option for all classes of cattle out on pasture because they regularly consume a quality mineral to meet their nutrient needs.
“As cattle consume mineral with IGR, it passes through the animal and into fresh manure, where female adult horn flies lay their eggs,” says Belew. “The IGR prevents pupae from developing into biting adult flies.”
For best results, feed 30 days before the last frost of spring through 30 days after the first frost in the fall.
“Ensure cattle are consuming mineral at target levels,” says Belew. “Appropriate mineral intake ensures cattle get the targeted level of IGR, which helps them receive full horn fly control.”
2. Insecticide-impregnated ear tags
Ear tags containing insecticide release small amounts of chemicals over time to control flies.
“This is ideal for implementation if cattle already need to be processed for tasks like vaccinations, deworming or pregnancy checks,” says Belew.
Tags must be replaced when insecticide is depleted, usually 2–4 months after application. Using fly tags with stocker cattle can be viable because the grazing season falls within the efficacy period of the insecticide. Tags should be removed at the end of fly season.
Follow manufacturer recommendations and rotate tag insecticides as needed to mitigate fly resistance.
3. Pour-ons and on-animal sprays
“A great option for immediate fly relief is to use a pour-on or spray,” says Belew.
These liquid substances are usually applied directly on an animal’s backline. The chemical is absorbed and circulates through the animal’s system.
Pour-ons and on-animal sprays control flies for up to 30 days before requiring another application. It will require several applications to provide control all season long. You can apply pour-ons and on-animal sprays while cattle are grazing, but it works better if they are confined to a smaller area during application, like a catch pen or alley.
“This method works best as a supplemental fly control method during spikes in fly numbers,” says Belew.
4. Dust bags, backrubs and oilers
The most effective method for forced-use situations where cattle must frequently enter an area like a water or feeding site are dust bags, backrubs or oilers. A powder or liquid substance is applied with hand shakers or self-treatment dust bags.
“Using this method of fly control does require frequent device checks to keep insecticide stocked,” says Belew.
Free-choice implementation can take 2–3 weeks for cattle to adopt and might not provide equal protection throughout the herd, leaving some cattle more vulnerable. Dust bags, backrubs and oilers can better suit situations where cattle have less space to roam, such as an open lot or small grass traps.
“Other methods like baits, area and residual sprays are difficult to use in range settings and are best used in barns or a confinement setting,” says Belew.
The best way to beat the buzz?
Develop a multi-pronged fly control approach to fit your operation. Use a feed-through option like Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control mineral in tandem with other fly control methods for season-long protection. Taking this type of approach can ensure fewer flies are biting into your profit while leading to better milk production and heavier weaning weights.
Not sure if fly control for cattle is really worth it? Calculate how much horn flies drain from your herd at
Purina Animal Nutrition LLC ( is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Arden Hills, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.
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