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Livestock Insect & Pest Control Resources

Pests are more than a nuisance to livestock, they can potentially drive your profits down as pest irritation can lead to stress that can affect reproduction, weight gain and overall stock health. Insects can be problematic for both livestock in the pasture and in confined housing settings. Unlike people, our livestock are out where pests can "bug" them 24/7; therefore, a pest management plan is critical for your facility.

Dairy and Beef Cattle

Pest irritation in cattle herds results in lower milk production levels and reduced feed conversion efficiency. Insects not only have the potential to transmit disease as they go from cow to cow, but they also can cause poor general health. These menacing insects add stress to your herd, which in turn can result in lower birth and weaning rates, which will affect your profitability. When it comes to dairy cows, stress at a young age may affect both size and entry into the lactating herd. Pest control techniques are generally the same when it comes to dairy and beef cattle, however read the label prior to use to make sure the pest control product can be used on lactating dairy cows.

Livestock Facility Management

The first line of defense in fighting flies is a waste management program. Break the fly cycle by removing fly breeding materials (manure, wet grain, spilled silage, moist hay, etc.) on a weekly basis. Use sticky fly ribbons and baited traps to attract and catch flies. When using chemicals around your facility pay special attention to any chemical treatments conducted in milking parlors. Southern States Total Pest Control provides long lasting pest control and is safe enough for use in milking parlors.

Ear Tags

Another way to provide fly control to your herd is through the use of insecticide ear tags. These tags control face flies, stable flies, houseflies and the dreaded horn fly. If you have a dairy herd make sure your tag can be used on lactating cattle.

Dustbags and Backrubbers

Devices such as dustbags and backrubbers provide excellent insect control when they are located in an area where cattle pass through frequently. They should be put in "forced use" situations, so the cow must go through the area to get something they want i.e. feed or water. Isolate your water or feed so the herd must pass under the bag or rub to quench their thirst or appetite. Use Prozap Backrubber and Pour On to help reduce flies, mosquitoes, ticks or lice via backrubber.

Insect Growth Regulator

Feed through supplements and minerals can help rid your facility of horn flies and other manure laying pests. Horn flies are the most persistent pests to cows as they remain on the cows almost constantly only leaving to lay eggs in fresh manure. Cattleman's Pride Weathershed® Beef Breeder Mineral w/Altosid® works by passing Altosid through the cow's manure thus halting the fly life cycle.


When preparing a pest management program for your poultry operation flies and mites are the pests that you should focus on eliminating. High density housing environments create conditions favorable to the development of manure breeding flies and northern fowl mites.

Fly Control

The best way to combat a growing fly population is through effective manure management and sanitation programs. The less wet organic matter present around your facility, the less opportunity for fly breeding grounds. Insecticides alone only provide temporary relief from flies. Reduce your fly population with the one two punch of weekly facility cleanup and chemical treatments.

Foggers & Surface Sprays

These both provide rapid, short term fly control. They are most effective when you are experiencing a fly outbreak cycle that needs to be broken. Remember when you apply a chemical treatment; the birds must never be directly sprayed. Read the product instructions prior to application.

Fowl Mite Control

Fowl mites are the most serious and common external parasite that attacks poultry. Mite stress can result in egg production losses up to 15% and affect reproduction in male birds. Mite management requires direct pesticide application through either a Permectrin spray or dust application. If using Permectrin dust avoid applying the dust on eggs and nests.

Goats and Sheep

Goats and sheep can be bothered by a number of annoying pests such as fleece worms (wool maggots), sheep keds (ticks), lice and mange. Failure to control these pests can result in lower weight gains, loss of wool, milk production reduction and death of young stock. In addition to worrying about pests it's also important to maintain fly populations at low levels through the usual methods of manure management and sanitation.

Sheep Keds (Ticks)

The most common parasite to bug sheep is the sheep ked or tick. Atroban EC animal spray can take care of sheep keds, mange mites, lice and flies. Permectrin dust is also effective in combating keds and lice.

Deworming Plan

As sheep and goats graze close to the ground, they are more susceptible to internal pests such as worms. Work with your veterinarian to set up a deworming/parasite control program for your stock.

Fleece Worm Infestation

While flies aren't generally a program for sheep in the summer because of their thick wool, farmers must guard against fleece worms (wool maggots) in the spring and summer. Fleece worms are attracted to the crotch area of sheep where wool is contaminated with urine and feces. Routine ear tagging and tail docking are both good preventative measures to avoid infestation. However, if it's too late and you already have a fleece worm problem, shear the infested area and treat with Permectrin dust.

Need more help?

Regardless of what type of livestock is your specialty, Southern States can help! If you have any questions about how you can better control livestock pests at your farm please don't hesitate to call or stop by your local Southern States store for more information.

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