While dairy operations will never be completely free of flies, untreated fly infestations can lead to reduced dairy profitability. In fact, studies have confirmed that the economic threshold for dairy farms is just 50 flies per animal. That’s the point at which the negative effects of flies can cost an operation more in damages than the cost to effectively treat flies on a dairy.
What are the true costs of flies on a dairy?
Flies are not only an annoyance, but they also pose a threat to animal health, which affects your bottom line. Stable flies will administer a painful bite and irritate cows during resting, feeding and milking. Research shows that high populations of stable flies can lower milk production by 15 to 30 percent. Losses from these painful pests alone are estimated to cost $360 million per year in the United States.
While the house fly is not a biting pest, it also poses a threat to the bottom line of a dairy operation. House flies spread diseases including pinkeye and mastitis. Given the role flies play in cow health, implementing proper practices and preventative fly control strategies is key to protecting dairy cows from flies.
Flies can be a nuisance to human workers on a dairy, and can interrupt productivity. In worst case scenarios, they can potentially even lead to faster turnover among workers.
Managing adult flies on an operation can also require manpower that could be better spent on the dairy. To most effectively and efficiently control flies on a dairy operation, consider a comprehensive fly control program built on ClariFly® Larvicide.
ClariFly® Larvicide is a feed-through fly control solution that relies on the cows to pass the product through manure, requiring no additional effort by workers. And because it’s unique mode of action targets flies at the larval stage, it prevents adult flies from emerging and needing to be controlled.
While the cost of fly control may require an initial added expense to the bottom line, the long-term savings it can provide to a dairy operation can easily offset the cost. To keep below the economic threshold for flies on dairy cows and maximize the efficiency of your cows and workers, consider fly control an investment rather than an expense.
Want to learn more? Watch our “How Bad is Bad for Fly Control?” video featuring our own Paul Kropp.