Controlling horn flies in cattle: Is garlic the reply?

Horn flies can turn out to be a serious subject for cattle throughout the summer season. Generally used fly management strategies embrace sprays, drenches and dusts. Nonetheless, a latest development throughout the livestock trade is the seek for various fly management strategies. Among the many strategies gaining nationwide consideration is using garlic, cinnamon and different important oil-based extracts in livestock feeds or minerals. The thought behind feeding livestock these aromatics is that their robust scents will deter flies. Nonetheless, are these aromatic management strategies efficient, or are all of them present? Alabama Cooperative Extension System consultants are right here to assist unravel this fragrant thriller.

Restricted analysis accessible

Kim Mullenix, an Alabama Extension beef programs specialist, stated that whereas these various fly management components are of common curiosity, analysis on their effectiveness is comparatively restricted.

“Many of the accessible analysis on supplementing garlic as a fly management technique was achieved in dairy cattle diets,” Mullenix stated. “Whereas some discount in fly numbers was noticed, it’s because garlic was supplemented in bigger portions of their every day complete combined ration than what producers can present by way of a mineral complement.”

Dave Boxler and T.L. Meyer, each educators with Nebraska Extension, lately revealed details about their analysis with utilizing garlic as a method of horn fly management. Of their two research, they used garlic combined with minerals and salt and provided it to the cattle free alternative. To gage effectiveness, the researchers used a management group of untreated cattle. In accordance with their findings, horn fly numbers on cattle in each research exceeded the financial threshold of 200 flies. An financial threshold is when there are sufficient flies current that the financial loss is the same as the producer’s administration prices. In one of many research, a rescue therapy needed to be carried out to cut back the quantity or horn flies. Learn extra about Nebraska Extension’s analysis at

Confirmed various management strategies

Whereas the effectiveness of garlic and different scent-powered management strategies isn’t totally identified, there are some various fly management strategies that producers can implement of their operations. Mullenix stated there are numerous mineral dietary supplements that embrace components for administration gadgets similar to fly management.

“Producers might think about using elements of their diet program as carriers for feed-through fly management strategies,” Mullenix stated. “A number of the most typical fly management components in minerals embrace S-methoprene. This passes by way of the digestive tract of the animal and prevents the event of fly eggs in manure, which is the place flies most frequently lay their eggs.”

As a result of this management technique entails the reproductive cycle of flies, Mullenix stated these mineral merchandise containing S-methoprene should be accessible to cattle earlier than the onset of flies for the season happens.

Conventional management strategies

Whereas confirmed various strategies do have their place and time to be used, they typically can’t be solely depended upon for correct fly management. To realize full-level management, producers ought to use a number of product sorts and modes of motion.

Kelly Palmer, an Alabama Extension animal science and forages regional agent, stated there are a number of merchandise labeled for horn fly management that are available in a wide range of supply strategies.

“These management strategies embrace sprays, drenches, dusts, ear tags and feed throughs,” Palmer stated. “It doesn’t matter what technique a producer chooses, they need to do one thing so these flies don’t chunk off an excessive amount of of their income.”

For the extra conventional management choices–similar to sprays, drenches and dusts–Palmer stated these will solely present momentary aid to cattle. Producers should make a number of functions all through the season to successfully management flies.

Whereas not as conventional as some strategies, using fly ear tags has turn out to be extensively common. Nonetheless, Palmer stated producers want to make use of them accurately to realize the specified stage of management.

“Wait to use tags till the herd has reached 200 flies per animal,” Palmer stated. “Making use of tags too early will lower their effectiveness throughout the peak of horn-fly season. Additionally, you’ll want to comply with the label charges, take away the tags on the finish of the season or after they cease being efficient and rotate between lessons of insecticide. Not following these steps can improve resistance within the horn fly inhabitants.”

Contain the neighbors

Similar to elevating a toddler, correctly controlling horn flies in cattle takes a village. It will be important that beef producers discuss with different producers at neighboring farms about what fly management methods they use.

“If you’re being proactive when it comes to fly management however your neighbor doesn’t use any fly management, this will likely not assist the state of affairs in your farm,” Mullenix stated. “Work collectively to debate an built-in fly management plan.”

For extra data on horn fly management, learn Palmer’s Extension temporary “Controlling Horn Flies In Beef Cattle.”