Feed Through 101: How do Larvicides Work?

A fly infestation on a dairy is more than just a nuisance— it’s a real problem. House, stable, face and horn flies are all known to spread disease, interfere with weight gain and hinder milk production, hurting your bottom line.

With so many options to control flies on dairies, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your operation. One of the most effective products you can incorporate on your operation is a feed-through fly control solution, like ClariFly® Larvicide. To better understand how a feed-through solution works, consider the “ABCs” of larvicides.

Add to Feed – Flies lay eggs in manure where they eventually develop into adults. Early researchers knew that treating cow manure was key to fly control, but spraying each pile would be nearly impossible as each cow can produce up to 148 lbs per day! When the founders of Central Life Sciences sought to apply their discovery of insect growth regulator technology to livestock fly control nearly 50 years ago, they realized delivering the active ingredients as a feed-through solution could rely on the animals themselves to deliver the product. ClariFly® Larvicide was later developed using this same approach, delivering fly control in feed that is eaten and passed through the animal’s digestive system and into the manure where flies lay eggs.

Break the Life Cycle – While conventional insecticides attack the nervous system of insects, ClariFly® Larvicide works by breaking the fly life cycle, rather than through direct toxicity. ClariFly® Larvicide prevents house flies, stable flies, face flies and horn flies from developing in and emerging from the manure of treated cattle by interfering with the normal molting process of the fly larvae. The mode of action is specific to insects, disrupting the production of a substance called chitin, which is a key component of an insect’s exoskeleton that is NOT found in mammals. Without a properly formed exoskeleton, the immature fly cannot survive to adulthood.

Complementary Efforts – ClariFly® Larvicide offers effective fly control on dairies, but cannot work to its full potential when used on its own. The best way to control flies on a dairy is to develop a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) program with ClariFly® Larvicide serving as the foundation. Other efforts include proper sanitation and manure management practices, maintaining facilities to eliminate fly entry and incorporating a combination of fly baits, traps and sprays from the Starbar® Products line to control adult flies. When properly administered and supported by a complete IPM program, ClariFly® Larvicide can reduce the emergence of flies from cow manure by 96.7%.

To learn more about a comprehensive fly control program, download our helpful IPM Planning Guide.