To win the war against flies, it pays to know your enemies.

Published on Mon, 05/01/2023 - 1:46pm

To win the war against flies, it pays to know your enemies.

 Article courtesy of Y-Tex.

 Proper fly identification is the key to Treat when fly populations reach cost-effective control. economic thresholds.

While horn flies are undoubtedly the Number 1 pest problem in cattle, other species of flies can contribute to economic loss throughout the year. That’s why you need to know which type of flies are infesting your cattle and the best ways to control them.

Start with an accurate diagnosis of your fly problem.
Cattle fly identification is relatively easy once you know what to look for, where to look and when to look.

Research shows that a few flies on a cow or calf pose little or no risk of economic loss. But when fly populations reach threshold levels, it’s time to treat using one or more of the following methods:

Insecticide ear tags offer the best return on investment for the cattle producer. Apply before pest populations peak and then remove once the active ingredient is depleted. Rotate chemical class every year to prevent flies from developing resistance to a specific active

Livestock sprays are used by producers because of perceived value or the desire not to run animals through a chute to apply fly tags. Sprays typically provide a few weeks of control when applied according to label directions with a pressurized sprayer.

Pour-on products allow for more precise application of insecticides for up to eight weeks of control. High concentration/low volume treatments usually reduce run-off and provide longer control. To help keep horn flies and other pests in check, supplement your insecticide ear tag program with a pour-on treatment to extend fly control until the first killing frost and manage lice populations during winter months.

Backrubbers and oilers enable producers to select their insecticide concentrate of choice and mix it with mineral oil or diesel fuel for continuous, season-long control.

Dust bags, like backrubbers, are most effective in forced-use situations where cattle must walk through a narrow gate or doorway to reach water or mineral blocks.

To learn more about fly control in cattle, contact your livestock products supplier or visit us at and download our fly control brochure.

Always read and follow label directions.  Y-TEX® is a registered trademark of Y-TEX Corporation. © 2022 Y-TEX Corporation.