Biting flies problem for cattle

Biting flies problem for cattle

By Mike Surbrugg

The Joplin Globe

MOUND VALLEY, Kan. — Fescue may not be the only reason cattle stand in ponds.

They may do so to protect their legs from biting stable flies that have their highest numbers in May and early June, according to Alberto Broce, Kansas State University livestock insect entomologist, who spoke at a beef cattle and forage program on May 3.

Stable flies are a problem not only in dairies and other confined animal feeding operations, but also reduce weight gains in pastured beef cattle, Broce said.

To avoid stable flies, cattle stomp their feet, swish tails, stand in water, rest with their legs tucked under them or bunch at corners of pastures.

Chemical controls can be applied on cattle legs but that brings only temporary relief because it is removed as cattle walk through pastures, he said.

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