With warm weather and rain right around the corner, experts at Bayer Animal Health suggest getting in front of seasonal pest problems before they become an issue. Preventive action is key as flies can negatively impact an operation’s bottom line due to disease and disruptions in feeding, which can result in lower weight gain or reduced milk production.

Preparation begins with spring cleaning of facilities to remove potential breeding areas. This includes removing left over hay and other spilled feeds from winter feeding, limiting standing water to what is necessary, and paying attention to areas where moisture may collect.

Next, producers should focus on the plan, which should include: 

·         Determining how to manage the pests

·         Gathering the product and labor necessary

·         Implementing management strategies

·         Monitoring the effectiveness throughout the year, with a contingency built in that may include supplementing your management practices later in the season

The plan should take into account what type of flies you are dealing with, their feeding habits, breeding areas and preferred resting spaces. This can help producers choose the best strategies and products. To help do this, Bayer developed the Defense Point system, which provides a helpful guide for planning and treatment. It divides a producer’s operation into multiple treatment areas, including:

·         On-Animal — On-animal treatments focus on controlling pests that live or spend most of their time on an animal and can include ear tags, pour-ons, on-animal sprays and dusts.

·         Facility — Barns, pens, stables and other places where animals spend significant time also are prime locations for pests. Treating around these areas with products, such as baits, sprays or dusts, can control pests that could be causing damage to your facilities or transferring to the animal.

·         Environment — Areas outside your facilities can be an issue as well. Treating areas surrounding your livestock buildings, horse stables, and feed storage with products such as baits, dusts or sprays can help control the pest population.

·         Feed-Through — Manure can be a breeding ground and feeding location for several species of flies. By using a feed-through insecticide, fly larva can be eliminated before they can mature and continue the cycle.

Bayer products for on-animal uses include the Tolfenpro™ Insecticide Ear Tag, which features an active ingredient not found in any other ear tag or livestock insecticide and Clean Up™ II, a new pour-on insecticide with IGR for topical application to control lice. For facilities and environmental applications, DeltaGard®, a new ultra-low volume cold fog insecticide, and Annihilator™ Polyzone®, a premises spray, both offer effective options. Feed-through products include Rabon® Oral Larvicide.

Producers also should consider what products they currently use for pest management to determine if there is a need for rotation. Rotation between products with different modes of action (MOA) can reduce the risk of insecticide resistance. Producers should rotate about every year and should rotate between different MOA groups, not just brands or active ingredients in the same chemical class.

For specific product recommendations by category, visit the Bayer Livestock website.