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Putting the Smack-Down on Flies - Gregg Hanzlicek on Industry's Billion Dollar Problem of Fly Control

 
According to Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek, director of the production animal field investigations unit of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Kansas State University, fly control isn’t just about managing parasite populations. He says it has a real financial impact on producers’ bottom lines making it an issue of dollars and cents. In a recent interview, he explained to Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays how producers can approach this problem that costs ranchers industry-wide a billion dollars annually on their own operation.
 
During the summer months especially, cattle may be infested with a variety of external parasitic flies such as Horseflies and Face flies. But topping producers’ most wanted list are Horn flies. Hanzlicek insists the tool most consider the front line of defense, insecticidal ear tags, is in fact the best weapon in fighting all three of these species.
 
“It’s been shown that each one of those flies feeds anywhere from 20 to 40 times a day,” he said. “Just that irritation alone has a huge negative impact on the production of these cows.”
 
While ear tags are typically the most effective at managing fly populations, producers must stay on top of the buildup of resistance in their localized fly populations. One way of controlling that aspect, says Hanzlicek, are highly effective pass-through products that targets flies once they have left the animal and lays its eggs in fresh manure. If you find yourself in a situation where you are not comfortable deciding what action to take if the basic measures aren’t showing results, Hanzlicek encourages you to seek the professional advice of your local veterinarian to make recommendations for your specific operations.
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