As we head into warmer weather, producers know that also means the beginning of fly season is upon them. When temperatures rise, so do pest populations that can put your herd at risk. However, the right nutrition plan can be a crucial part of your spring and summer fly control.
An IGR or Insect Growth Regulator is a chemical that inhibits the life cycle of an insect. An IGR can be used in many different forms including pour-on, injectable, ear tags, sprays, dust bags or feed-throughs. Feed-through IGRs allow producers to mix-in with current feed or other mineral supplements they may be using to help combat diseases that pests can bring and help ensure consistent overall immune health. At Nutrition Plus, we have several products that include ClariFly®, which is a feed-through product that can control stable flies, house flies, face flies and horn flies. This product fits well for producers who are looking for fly control in confinement settings, such as in feedlots or in horse barns.
We also offer Altosid® IGR, which is an industry leading feed-through insect growth regulator that is rated specifically for horn flies, the most pervasive and costly external parasite for cattle in North America.
In cattle, horn flies can cause major problems for producers throughout the spring and summer months. Most especially, horn flies can drastically affect weight gain if not prevented or treated. As a biting insect, horn flies can take a blood meal from a cow 20-40 times a day. This can cause anemia and weakness which can lead to other problems that affect weight gain and overall health of the animal.
There a few signs to keep an eye out for when looking for a possible infestation within your herd. Tail switching, cattle bunching, and visible irritation are all signs of horn flies affecting cattle. The biting of the horn flies causes higher stress for cattle, which could result in interruptions in their grazing patterns, leading them to go-off feed an unnecessarily expend energy trying to rid themselves of the flies. If horn flies are present in your herd, you will see them on the backs of cattle, often clustering on the animals’ midlines and spreading down their sides.
In working to prevent a horn fly infestation, feed-through IGR should be given before the fly season begins. To be truly effective, It should continue to be administered throughout the entirety of the season until temperatures cool down in the fall. Infestation levels can increase rapidly so consistency is key when using an IGR as part of your fly-control plan.
Have questions about how you can make fly control part of your nutrition plan or about Nutrition Plus products? Click here to reach out to us!