Beware of the horn fly | TSLN.com

Beware of the horn fly

Gayle Smith

Courtesy photoConsider evaluating fly control programs in early morning when flies are feeding on top of the cattle. As the temperature warms up outside, they will move down toward the sides and belly of the animal to stay cooler. If a fly control program is working correctly, the animal should have no more than 200 horn flies present.

With summer fast approaching, ranchers need to start thinking about fly control. Studies have shown the presence of flies feeding on cattle during the summer can cause an average of 4 percent reduction in weaning weights. Mostly, this is due to a decrease in milk production because cows spend time trying to rid themselves of flies, rather than grazing.

According to David Boxler, extension educator with the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, one of the most common flies feeding on cattle during the summer is the horn fly. “During the cool part of the day, you will find horn flies on top of the cattle. As the temperature warms up outside, they will move down toward the sides and belly of the animal to stay cooler. Only the female flies leave the animal, when they deposit their eggs in a fresh pile of manure.”

Horn flies are gray in color with some markings on the thorax, and a broad “sword like” proboscis. They have a piercing sucking mouth part because they are a blood feeder. They will feed themselves 20-30 times a day. Boxler says the fly was named the horn fly because they will also feed around the horns. “As the temperature warms up, the flies need to digest their food, and heat can be fatal to them, so they move underneath the animal to seek protection.”

Boxler says producers should consider evaluating their fly control program in early morning when flies are feeding on top of the cattle. If a fly control program is working correctly, Boxler says the animal should have no more than 200 horn flies present.

Without any fly control, bulls can have as many as 10,000 horn flies, which is significantly more than either cows or steers. Boxler says bulls attract more of the pests because of their testosterone levels, and their thick necks prevent them from fighting flies.

Depending upon how long a single season lasts, Boxler says up to 10 generations of horn flies may be produced. Flies can also migrate at least three miles a day, and even further if there is wind, which can make them hard to control.

Recommended Stories For You

With summer fast approaching, ranchers need to start thinking about fly control. Studies have shown the presence of flies feeding on cattle during the summer can cause an average of 4 percent reduction in weaning weights. Mostly, this is due to a decrease in milk production because cows spend time trying to rid themselves of flies, rather than grazing.

According to David Boxler, extension educator with the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, one of the most common flies feeding on cattle during the summer is the horn fly. “During the cool part of the day, you will find horn flies on top of the cattle. As the temperature warms up outside, they will move down toward the sides and belly of the animal to stay cooler. Only the female flies leave the animal, when they deposit their eggs in a fresh pile of manure.”

Horn flies are gray in color with some markings on the thorax, and a broad “sword like” proboscis. They have a piercing sucking mouth part because they are a blood feeder. They will feed themselves 20-30 times a day. Boxler says the fly was named the horn fly because they will also feed around the horns. “As the temperature warms up, the flies need to digest their food, and heat can be fatal to them, so they move underneath the animal to seek protection.”

Boxler says producers should consider evaluating their fly control program in early morning when flies are feeding on top of the cattle. If a fly control program is working correctly, Boxler says the animal should have no more than 200 horn flies present.

Without any fly control, bulls can have as many as 10,000 horn flies, which is significantly more than either cows or steers. Boxler says bulls attract more of the pests because of their testosterone levels, and their thick necks prevent them from fighting flies.

Depending upon how long a single season lasts, Boxler says up to 10 generations of horn flies may be produced. Flies can also migrate at least three miles a day, and even further if there is wind, which can make them hard to control.

With summer fast approaching, ranchers need to start thinking about fly control. Studies have shown the presence of flies feeding on cattle during the summer can cause an average of 4 percent reduction in weaning weights. Mostly, this is due to a decrease in milk production because cows spend time trying to rid themselves of flies, rather than grazing.

According to David Boxler, extension educator with the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, one of the most common flies feeding on cattle during the summer is the horn fly. “During the cool part of the day, you will find horn flies on top of the cattle. As the temperature warms up outside, they will move down toward the sides and belly of the animal to stay cooler. Only the female flies leave the animal, when they deposit their eggs in a fresh pile of manure.”

Horn flies are gray in color with some markings on the thorax, and a broad “sword like” proboscis. They have a piercing sucking mouth part because they are a blood feeder. They will feed themselves 20-30 times a day. Boxler says the fly was named the horn fly because they will also feed around the horns. “As the temperature warms up, the flies need to digest their food, and heat can be fatal to them, so they move underneath the animal to seek protection.”

Boxler says producers should consider evaluating their fly control program in early morning when flies are feeding on top of the cattle. If a fly control program is working correctly, Boxler says the animal should have no more than 200 horn flies present.

Without any fly control, bulls can have as many as 10,000 horn flies, which is significantly more than either cows or steers. Boxler says bulls attract more of the pests because of their testosterone levels, and their thick necks prevent them from fighting flies.

Depending upon how long a single season lasts, Boxler says up to 10 generations of horn flies may be produced. Flies can also migrate at least three miles a day, and even further if there is wind, which can make them hard to control.

With summer fast approaching, ranchers need to start thinking about fly control. Studies have shown the presence of flies feeding on cattle during the summer can cause an average of 4 percent reduction in weaning weights. Mostly, this is due to a decrease in milk production because cows spend time trying to rid themselves of flies, rather than grazing.

According to David Boxler, extension educator with the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, one of the most common flies feeding on cattle during the summer is the horn fly. “During the cool part of the day, you will find horn flies on top of the cattle. As the temperature warms up outside, they will move down toward the sides and belly of the animal to stay cooler. Only the female flies leave the animal, when they deposit their eggs in a fresh pile of manure.”

Horn flies are gray in color with some markings on the thorax, and a broad “sword like” proboscis. They have a piercing sucking mouth part because they are a blood feeder. They will feed themselves 20-30 times a day. Boxler says the fly was named the horn fly because they will also feed around the horns. “As the temperature warms up, the flies need to digest their food, and heat can be fatal to them, so they move underneath the animal to seek protection.”

Boxler says producers should consider evaluating their fly control program in early morning when flies are feeding on top of the cattle. If a fly control program is working correctly, Boxler says the animal should have no more than 200 horn flies present.

Without any fly control, bulls can have as many as 10,000 horn flies, which is significantly more than either cows or steers. Boxler says bulls attract more of the pests because of their testosterone levels, and their thick necks prevent them from fighting flies.

Depending upon how long a single season lasts, Boxler says up to 10 generations of horn flies may be produced. Flies can also migrate at least three miles a day, and even further if there is wind, which can make them hard to control.

With summer fast approaching, ranchers need to start thinking about fly control. Studies have shown the presence of flies feeding on cattle during the summer can cause an average of 4 percent reduction in weaning weights. Mostly, this is due to a decrease in milk production because cows spend time trying to rid themselves of flies, rather than grazing.

According to David Boxler, extension educator with the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, one of the most common flies feeding on cattle during the summer is the horn fly. “During the cool part of the day, you will find horn flies on top of the cattle. As the temperature warms up outside, they will move down toward the sides and belly of the animal to stay cooler. Only the female flies leave the animal, when they deposit their eggs in a fresh pile of manure.”

Horn flies are gray in color with some markings on the thorax, and a broad “sword like” proboscis. They have a piercing sucking mouth part because they are a blood feeder. They will feed themselves 20-30 times a day. Boxler says the fly was named the horn fly because they will also feed around the horns. “As the temperature warms up, the flies need to digest their food, and heat can be fatal to them, so they move underneath the animal to seek protection.”

Boxler says producers should consider evaluating their fly control program in early morning when flies are feeding on top of the cattle. If a fly control program is working correctly, Boxler says the animal should have no more than 200 horn flies present.

Without any fly control, bulls can have as many as 10,000 horn flies, which is significantly more than either cows or steers. Boxler says bulls attract more of the pests because of their testosterone levels, and their thick necks prevent them from fighting flies.

Depending upon how long a single season lasts, Boxler says up to 10 generations of horn flies may be produced. Flies can also migrate at least three miles a day, and even further if there is wind, which can make them hard to control.

Go back to article