There’s no getting around it. If you keep any kind of livestock, you will have flies buzzing around as soon as the weather starts to warm up. But you don’t have to let the flies overrun your farm. Here are a few things to try to keep the fly population under control.
First and foremost, keep your barn or pen clean and dry. Most flies lay their eggs in rotting organic matter, including wet, decomposing bedding and manure. Other flies prefer stagnant water or muddy ground as their breeding grounds. Either way, keeping the ground around your cattle clean and dry will greatly reduce the chances of flies reproducing in large amounts.
Encourage natural predators to take up residence in and around your livestock. Spiders, chickens, and fly predators all consume either adult flies or their larvae and pupa forms.
Topical repellents that can be used on your livestock come in both oil and powder form. They can be directly applied, or can be set up in dispensers around the barn. Follow the instructions on whichever product you purchase, and be sure to replenish them regularly.
There are many options for killing or deterring flies that can be placed around the barn or pen as well. Flypapers or repellents can be used, though if you have dairy livestock you must be very careful which products you choose, and where they are placed, as these products can affect the milk – and the people who drink it. Another good option is to spread agricultural lime on the ground or floor around your livestock. This helps to keep the flies from reproducing without harming you or your livestock.