Protect Your Herd Against Mastitis

Every dairy operator knows how devastating mastitis can be once present in a herd. Without a proper fly management program in place, fly populations can quickly explode and with them, the spread of costly diseases like mastitis. Implicated in the transmission of more than 65 disease organisms, the house fly spreads bacteria with their sponging-type mouthparts. The other most common pest found around dairy operations and a known vector of disease is the face fly. Feeding around cattle’s eyes, nose and mouth, the face fly typically lays its eggs on fresh, undisturbed manure. To better control fly populations and protect your bottom line against mastitis, it’s important to implement a plan on your operation.

Dr. Stephen C. Nickerson, professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, states that 75% of heifers have some kind of teat or udder infection before they calve, with bacteria spread by flies accounting for 50% of those infections. Flies are a vector for disease and bacteria, including Staph. aureus, the primary cause of mastitis. A fly infestation in a confined situation allows for this disease to quickly spread.

Mastitis is such a major concern to the dairy industry because it can lead to blind quarters in the udder, leading to lost milk production and profits. When teats become irritated from flies, the bacteria enter the teat and move upward into the quarter, destroying milk-producing tissue. The destruction of this tissue eventually leads to blind quarters in the udder. Once bacteria starts to multiply, these nuisance flies can facilitate transmission into the udder and to other heifers in the herd — significantly reducing milk yields by as much as 50%. These pests carry the bacteria along with them when they move from animal to animal, irritating the teat.

Control fly populations by implementing an integrated pest management program established around ClariFly® Larvicide. ClariFly® Larvicide is a feed additive that prevents house flies, stable flies, face flies, and horn flies from developing in and emerging from the manure of livestock, where flies lay their eggs. Unlike conventional insecticides that attack the nervous system of insects through direct toxicity, ClariFly® Larvicide works by interrupting the fly life cycle, preventing them from maturing. When mixed into livestock feed, ClariFly® Larvicide passes through the animal’s digestive system and into the manure.

For complete control, it is important to treat your entire herd. ClariFly® Larvicide is approved for all stages of life from calves through lactating cows. ClariFly® Add-Pack helps reduce fly populations in calf environments, giving them the protection and comfort they need from the very start.

For more information on the effects of mastitis and how to protect your herd, download this informational resource.