Stable Flies On Cattle

If your cattle have been bunched up in corners of your pastures, they may be affected by stable flies. These stable flies are an annoyance, but they can also reduce average daily gains. Animals that are fighting stable flies may flick their tails, stamp their legs, twitch, stand in water, or bunch up. The economic injury level is as few as four flies per leg.

A study from the University of Nebraska saw a reduction of 0.44 lb. of average daily gain from cattle affected by stable flies that did not receive an insecticide treatment vs. cattle that did received a treatment. These stable flies required two blood meals a day, and they typically feed on the legs and belly of the animal. After their meal, they rest in shaded areas to digest.

There are limited control options for stable flies, unfortunately. Weekly spray of control product such as Coumaphos, Permethrin, and Phosmet are the most common. As range conditions dry up, stable fly number should be reduced.


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