Start Fly Control Programs Now

Apr 17, 2020

Megan Hasenour | Marketing Communications Manager

The time is now to get a fly control incorporated into your mineral program. We also suggest that fly control stay in the mineral until the first hard frost of the fall.   This will help with fly control for the following year.
Starting too late with fly control can mean big losses. The main reason to stay ahead of the horn fly season is because horn flies can cause “blind quarters” and can reduce milk intake by beef calves. Reduced milk intake from horn flies can cause 20-25 pounds lower weaning weight. Horn flies can also reduce gains on yearlings grazed on pasture by 30-35 pounds per season.

Both male and female horn flies are blood feeders that spend most of their time on the shoulders and backs of cattle. During extremely hot weather or when it rains, they may move to the more protected underside of the animal. The flies leave animals only to lay eggs or to change hosts.

With some chemistries, insect resistance has been an issue. If a producer applies fly tags, and two weeks later there has been no decline in fly population, the insects are likely resistant to the product. Resistance is not a problem when using the insect growth regulator (IGR), also known as Altosid.

When using an IGR feed-through product (for example: Mineral with ALT), horn fly control is long-term and preventive, not reactive. The IGR is ingested as part of the animal’s feed or supplement. Cattle then excrete manure that contains the IGR. Horn flies must lay their eggs in fresh manure, and the IGR keeps the horn fly pupae from developing into breeding, biting adult horn flies.

Begin to use a mineral with Altosid in it before the spring horn flies appear on cattle. Flies emerge when 14-day mean temperatures are 65 degrees and above. Continue feeding until cold weather stops fly activity. Make sure to continue the Altosid mineral program throughout the season for successful fly control.

Superior Ag has an extensive line up of IGR minerals that can help with your herd. Contact one of our sales specialists to see which product is right for your herds health: