Fly string refill
The cold, wet winter may have wreaked havoc with crops and livestock but one thing remains unaffected by the climate – the fly and midge populations. As the temperatures finally begin to rise, these pests are set to once again cause nuisance to farmers, cattle and other animals.
Flies and midges don’t just irritate livestock to the extent where grazing becomes difficult, they are also responsible for spreading diseases, such as Schmallenberg Virus. Poor nutrition leads to reduced growth rates in young stock and up to 25% lower milk yields while diseases spread by insects can have more damaging effects. It is vital to take early action to control these pests before they multiply in the optimum warmer weather conditions.
While it is virtually impossible to eliminate insect breeding sites from farmland, precautions in and around sheds and other buildings can prevent these pests from taking control. Alongside general farm hygiene, for example minimising dung heaps, slurry and rotting haystacks, DeLaval’s range of fly control products offers environmentally-friendly methods of helping to reduce the instance of flying insect infestation.
Larvae that have survived the frosts by overwintering below soil level or in woodland litter emerge as hungry adult insects. Some will migrate several kilometres in search of food so, no matter how much effort has been put into insect control in previous years, the farm will once again be susceptible to attack from these pests.
The key is to reduce the fly and midge populations before they get chance to breed and increase numbers further.
DeLaval has chosen the best products to easily, safely and effectively remove the worry of fly nuisance where it can be more easily controlled – within farm buildings. CE Approved Electric Fly Catchers use UV light to attract insects before executing them with a high voltage shock. These robust machines are available in different sizes and voltages and are easy to fix to walls or stalls with a removable try for convenient cleaning. The low energy consumption means that they can be used throughout the day and night for 24 hour protection.
For a simpler option, and particularly where there is no access to electricity, DeLaval’s Fly String provides effective coverage for large areas. The bright white string, usually positioned above the stalls, draws insects away from the animals where the pests stick to strong glue and are a nuisance no longer.
All of DeLaval’s insect removal products can be used in conjunction to better guard against infestation.
Fly annoyance on cattle has been shown to reduce milk production by up to 0.5 litres per cow per day. Irritated cows can kick off milk clusters, causing damage to themselves and the milking equipment. They eat and drink less, resulting in poorer milk quality and the likelihood of reduced growth rates. Add these factors to the possibility of disease spread by insects and the result can be devastating illnesses, such as summer mastitis, as well as low calf survival rates. Parasites carried by flies can cause health problems not only in animals but in humans too, spreading infections such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid.
"With the welfare of cattle and the profitability of clients' businesses in mind, we are keen to warn farmers not to be complacent when it comes to insect control,” says Richard Miller, DeLaval Solutions Manager. “Even with the bad weather we have experienced, insect populations will likely remain unaffected. Early and comprehensive action can protect against some of the problems associated with flies and midges. Early action may prevent the pests breeding and result in healthier, happier, more productive cattle.”
Contact your local dealer today to find out about our SPECIAL OFFER on Fly Control products!*
*offer available from participating DeLaval dealerships only while stocks last.