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Controlling Flies This Summer

While its difficult to imagine right now with the snow, sleet, freezing temperature and a climate change winter, the days are getting longer and spring is approaching. Now is the time to think about the coming fly season and prepare for it as it’s not only television presenters that get pink eye. While we might exchange anything for the cold, we will soon be cursing the problems that heat and flies bring including mastitis and pink eye. Like everything in organic management there is no silver bullet for fly control, so developing an integrated pest management program is most effective for overall fly control. In her article, Jessica Starcevich, Entomologist for Spalding Labs, shares some of the wisdom accumulated from visiting numerous dairies of all sizes. A dairy farm that grazes can still manage to breed house flies and biting stable flies in abundance around buildings and in the pastures and the cattle will be bothered by face flies and horn flies. Because these flies breed in different environments, they require different approaches to control.