Stable Flies Can Be a Problem Even If You Don’t Have a Stable

If you see your cattle stomping their feet during warm summer months, it might mean they're dealing with stable flies. Stable flies look a lot like house flies, but they are blood-suckers with bayonet-like mouthparts they use to pierce the skin. They prefer feeding on the bellies and legs of their victims, which include horses, cattle, hogs and humans. Though they only take a few drops of blood at a time, their bites are so painful that cattle stamp or kick to try to rid themselves of the pests. Just fifty flies per animal can reduce feed efficiency by 10 to 13 percent. Prevention is the Best Defense Your first line of defense is good sanitation. Stable flies breed in wet straw and manure, spilled feds, silage, grass clippings, and other decaying vegetation. They can also breed in the rotted hay at the base of large, stored hay bales. Each female lives 20 to 30 days and produces about 500 eggs. It takes about 3 weeks for the egg to become and adult fly. By removing and thinly spreading potential breeding habitat once a week - like manure, bedding, moist hay and spilled silage - you kill eggs, maggots and pupae and reduce breeding habitat. Watch out for other fly sources like wet feed in the ends of managers and underneath feed bunks, green chop and spills around silos, and mud and manure along fence lines. Fly Paper and Parasitoids If your stable

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