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Beef IQ: Biology and Management of Horn Flies and Face Flies Kelly Loftin Associate Professor/Extension Entomologist Department of Entomology Fayetteville,

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Presentation on theme: "Beef IQ: Biology and Management of Horn Flies and Face Flies Kelly Loftin Associate Professor/Extension Entomologist Department of Entomology Fayetteville,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Beef IQ: Biology and Management of Horn Flies and Face Flies Kelly Loftin Associate Professor/Extension Entomologist Department of Entomology Fayetteville, Arkansas

2 Livestock Pests - Flies Livestock Pests - Flies Pasture breeding flies Pasture breeding flies – Horn Fly – Face Fly Premise breeding flies Premise breeding flies – House Fly – Stable Fly Black flies or Buffalo Gnats Black flies or Buffalo Gnats Biting Midges Biting Midges Horse Flies Horse Flies

3 Family Muscidae Horn Fly Haematobia irritans

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5 Horn Fly – Economic Importance Most economically important insect pest of pastured cattle in the U.S. Most economically important insect pest of pastured cattle in the U.S. Losses occur through blood loss and annoyance, infestations of up to 10,000 flies per animal have been documented. Losses occur through blood loss and annoyance, infestations of up to 10,000 flies per animal have been documented. Losses in cow-calf production is an indirect reduction in calf weaning weight. Reduction in calf weaning weights vary from 18 pounds and up. Losses in cow-calf production is an indirect reduction in calf weaning weight. Reduction in calf weaning weights vary from 18 pounds and up. Stocker cattle gains may be reduced by 50 pounds. Stocker cattle gains may be reduced by 50 pounds. Linked to increased summer mastitis in cattle Linked to increased summer mastitis in cattle

6 Horn Fly - Life Cycle & Biology Haematobia irritans Haematobia irritans Complete metamorphosis Complete metamorphosis Adult remains on host - except for egg laying. Adult remains on host - except for egg laying.

7 Horn Fly - Life Cycle & Biology Adults live from weeks, mating occurs on the host about 3 days after emergence. Adults live from weeks, mating occurs on the host about 3 days after emergence. Eggs laid on fresh cattle manure, less than 10 minutes old Eggs laid on fresh cattle manure, less than 10 minutes old Larvae develop in manure. Larvae develop in manure. Horn flies overwinter as pupae in the soil. Horn flies overwinter as pupae in the soil. Life cycle from egg to adult is from days. Life cycle from egg to adult is from days.

8 Two Seasonal Peaks in Abundance

9 Horn Fly Management Return of $ 2-5, for each $ 1 spent. Return of $ 2-5, for each $ 1 spent. Treat when population reach an average of 200 per animal for beef cattle (100 for dairy cattle). Treat when population reach an average of 200 per animal for beef cattle (100 for dairy cattle). Dust bags, back rubbers, mechanical traps. Dust bags, back rubbers, mechanical traps. Mineral/feed additives (IGRs –methoprene, diflubenzuron; Larvicides - tetrachlorvinphos). Mineral/feed additives (IGRs –methoprene, diflubenzuron; Larvicides - tetrachlorvinphos). Sprays, pour-ons, dusts. Sprays, pour-ons, dusts. Insecticide impregnated ear tags. Insecticide impregnated ear tags.

10 Economic Thresholds and Counting Horn Flies Economic injury level is flies per animal ( dairy). Economic injury level is flies per animal ( dairy). Count flies on a minimum of 10 animals to obtain an average. Count flies on a minimum of 10 animals to obtain an average. Whole body, one side, two sides? Whole animal counts are more accurate but not always possible. Whole body, one side, two sides? Whole animal counts are more accurate but not always possible. When flies are less than 25 per animal count individually, when greater than 25 count in multiples of 5, 10, etc. When flies are less than 25 per animal count individually, when greater than 25 count in multiples of 5, 10, etc.

11 a b c Drawings of estimated population of horn flies on cattle; a = 50, b = 100 and c = 200.

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13 Horn flies on bull and belly of Hereford.

14 Control Methods

15 Horn fly (Bruce) trap Passive, no chemicals Passive, no chemicals Restrict access to feed or water Restrict access to feed or water Animal must pass through trap Animal must pass through trap Up to 70% control Up to 70% control Cost (material): $ Cost (material): $

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17 Potential Issues with Trap Trap maintenance (horned cattle) Trap maintenance (horned cattle) Alternate water sources (rainfall and wet weather water sources) Alternate water sources (rainfall and wet weather water sources) On occasion individual animals will not pass through trap On occasion individual animals will not pass through trap

18 Horn Fly Demonstration – Dallas County

19 Insecticide Impregnated Ear Tags One treatment ? If not applied too early One treatment ? If not applied too early Organophosphates, pyrethroids, organochlorines and now macrocyclic lactone (abamectin) Organophosphates, pyrethroids, organochlorines and now macrocyclic lactone (abamectin) Insecticide resistance should be considered Insecticide resistance should be considered Insecticide classes should be rotated Insecticide classes should be rotated

20 Horn Fly Demonstration – Stone County

21 Ear tag Insecticide classes Insecticide Class BeefDairy* Synthetic Pyrethroid YesYes Organochlorine**YesNo OrganophosphateYesNo Macrocyclic lactones YesYes * Lactating dairy cattle. ** Existing stock only (Avenger), no longer manufactured. Remember to rotate insecticide classes and remove tags when they become ineffective or at the end of the fly season to lessen insecticide resistance or tolerance issues.

22 Backrubbers and Dust Bags Self treatment device Self treatment device Recharge when needed Recharge when needed Backrubber is saturated with a light oil solution containing insecticide Backrubber is saturated with a light oil solution containing insecticide Dust bags are closed mesh burlap bags containing insecticide dust – no mixing necessary Dust bags are closed mesh burlap bags containing insecticide dust – no mixing necessary Best if forced use Best if forced use

23 Paired, forced-use dust bags

24 Forced-use backrubber

25 Issues with Backrubbers and Dust Bags Are the animals using the self-treatment device? Are the animals using the self-treatment device? Forced-use deployment is best (restrict access to feeders, etc.) Forced-use deployment is best (restrict access to feeders, etc.) Maintenance and charging Maintenance and charging

26 IGRs and Larvicides Insecticide mixed into trace minerals formulated as a block, as granular form mixed with feed, or as liquid feed Insecticide mixed into trace minerals formulated as a block, as granular form mixed with feed, or as liquid feed Consider proximity to untreated animals Consider proximity to untreated animals Kills horn fly larva developing in manure Kills horn fly larva developing in manure Animals must eat a specified amount each day Animals must eat a specified amount each day Examples: IGRs - Altosid (methoprene) and ClariFly (diflubenzuron). Larvicides – Rabon (tetrachlorvinphos) Examples: IGRs - Altosid (methoprene) and ClariFly (diflubenzuron). Larvicides – Rabon (tetrachlorvinphos)

27 Pour-ons A small amount of insecticide is poured down the backline A small amount of insecticide is poured down the backline Rates vary ~ about ½ ounce maximum Rates vary ~ about ½ ounce maximum Higher insecticide concentration than sprays (3- 10%) Higher insecticide concentration than sprays (3- 10%) Two types: traditional insecticide and endectocide Two types: traditional insecticide and endectocide Endectocide pour-ons control internal parasites, lice and horn flies, consider horn fly control as an added benefit Endectocide pour-ons control internal parasites, lice and horn flies, consider horn fly control as an added benefit

28 Endectocides for horn fly control? Ivomec, Cydectin, etc. Pour-ons Ivomec, Cydectin, etc. Pour-ons Cost of endectocide pour-ons are decreasing especially with generics. Cost of endectocide pour-ons are decreasing especially with generics. Probably best not to rely on endectocides alone to control horn flies (use when necessary for internal (worms) parasites). Label excerpt …should be a part of the parasite control program for both internal and external parasites. Probably best not to rely on endectocides alone to control horn flies (use when necessary for internal (worms) parasites). Label excerpt …should be a part of the parasite control program for both internal and external parasites. Ivomec pour-on will control horn flies from days, meaning multiple applications may be required during a fly season. Ivomec pour-on will control horn flies from days, meaning multiple applications may be required during a fly season.

29 Sprays Controls adult flies, ticks, lice Controls adult flies, ticks, lice High pressure sprays to apply a large volume of insecticide solution (1-2 quarts) High pressure sprays to apply a large volume of insecticide solution (1-2 quarts) Low-volume sprays apply about 2 ounces per animal, uses nozzles set up in gate or doorway where animal must pass Low-volume sprays apply about 2 ounces per animal, uses nozzles set up in gate or doorway where animal must pass

30 Walk through sprayer Restrict access to minerals or water Restrict access to minerals or water Animals are automatically treated as they pass through (electronic eye) Animals are automatically treated as they pass through (electronic eye) Not to be continuously operated – operate only when fly numbers reach treatment threshold Not to be continuously operated – operate only when fly numbers reach treatment threshold Commercial units are available Commercial units are available

31 Solar powered automatic sprayer

32 Horn fly demonstration – Washington County

33 Issues with automatic sprayer Are the animals using the sprayer? Similar issues with back rubbers, dust bags and trap. Are the animals using the sprayer? Similar issues with back rubbers, dust bags and trap. Restrict access to minerals or water (forced use). Restrict access to minerals or water (forced use). Individual animals may not use the sprayer (observe). Individual animals may not use the sprayer (observe). Cattle should be acclimated to sprayer. Cattle should be acclimated to sprayer. Inert ingredients (xylene) in some insecticide formulations will damage pump. Most animal insecticides work fine (exception: Ravap, but formulation may be changed to remove xylene). Inert ingredients (xylene) in some insecticide formulations will damage pump. Most animal insecticides work fine (exception: Ravap, but formulation may be changed to remove xylene).

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35 Consult MP 144 Insecticide Recommendations for Arkansas which is updated yearly. Read and follow the insecticide label.

36 Family Muscidae Face Fly Musca autumnalis

37 Face Fly – Economic Importance Musca autumnalis Musca autumnalis Introduced into North America in 1952, native to Europe, China, North Africa, etc. Introduced into North America in 1952, native to Europe, China, North Africa, etc. Economic losses from decreased weight gain, decreased milk production, and mechanical transmission of pinkeye Economic losses from decreased weight gain, decreased milk production, and mechanical transmission of pinkeye Does not reach pest status every year in Arkansas, usually only a major problem 1 or 2 years out of every 5 years. More of a pest in north Arkansas than south Arkansas Does not reach pest status every year in Arkansas, usually only a major problem 1 or 2 years out of every 5 years. More of a pest in north Arkansas than south Arkansas

38 Face flies on cow (left) and calf infected with pinkeye (right).

39 Face Fly

40 Face Fly Biology Intermittent feeders Intermittent feeders Females feed on secretions around the eyes and on saliva (ptotein for egg production) Females feed on secretions around the eyes and on saliva (ptotein for egg production) Female and Male feed on nectar and pollen Female and Male feed on nectar and pollen Once feeding is complete the female leaves the host Once feeding is complete the female leaves the host

41 Face Fly Life Cycle Adult female lays eggs on fresh cattle manure Adult female lays eggs on fresh cattle manure Eggs hatch into larvae Eggs hatch into larvae Larvae develop in the manure Larvae develop in the manure Larvae pupate in soil near manure pat Larvae pupate in soil near manure pat Adults emerge from pupae (white) Adults emerge from pupae (white) Life cycle from egg to adult is from days Life cycle from egg to adult is from days Overwinter as adults Overwinter as adults

42 Face Fly Management Face fly are difficult to control because they are found on the face (hard to treat area) and spend little time on the host. Face fly are difficult to control because they are found on the face (hard to treat area) and spend little time on the host. Insecticide treatment may be necessary when an average of 10 flies per animal (face) are present. Insecticide treatment may be necessary when an average of 10 flies per animal (face) are present. Face flies are equally attracted to adult cattle and calves. Face flies are equally attracted to adult cattle and calves. Self treatment devices (back and face rubbers, dust bags, face misters) provide control. Self treatment devices (back and face rubbers, dust bags, face misters) provide control. Insecticide impregnated ear tags provide limited control (pyrethroid ear tags (2 per animal) are generally more effective for face flies than the organophosphates). Insecticide impregnated ear tags provide limited control (pyrethroid ear tags (2 per animal) are generally more effective for face flies than the organophosphates).

43 Consult MP 144 Insecticide Recommendations for Arkansas which is updated yearly. Read and follow the insecticide label.


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