Cattle and Flies: A Problem Needing Control

Saturday we were going to move 40 mama cows and their calves from our Rocky Branch Grass Ranch to home so they could eat on some fresh forage we planted last fall. When we started,we noticed that we had a severe fly problem on the cows and calves. This is earlier in the year than we normally experience. The flies were so bad they were causing some of the calves to bleed from all the bites on their back. Excessive flies are not only unhealthy, but they so distract the cattle they loose weight.

We are trying a new fly tag this year for long-term control and a back spray we have not used in a number of yerars. You have to rotate control measures so the flies do not become adapted to what you use. The tags are placed on the top of the ears, so the flies land on them and pick up trace amounts of a control agent. They then fly off an die. The back spray is an instant kill, but has little residual effect; especially after rain.

When you see flies in this number, you know it is time to give the cattle some relief.



Spray gives the cattle immediate relief. The black cloud of flies over each cot immediately goes away.


Mature cattle get a tag on each ear providing 5 months of protection. Calves get only one tag.