MANAGEMENT                                        PIH-121


           A Guide for Fly Control Around Swine Facilities

John Campbell, University of Nebraska
Ralph Williams, Purdue University
Roger Moon, University of Minnesota

Anthony and Joyce Bornhorst, Ft. Loramie, Ohio
Chris M. Christensen, University of Kentucky
Mark and Tammy King, Johnsonville, South Carolina
William F. Lyon, The Ohio State University


     The house fly is the primary nuisance  fly  associated  with
hogs,  although  other  species  of the filth fly complex (little
house fly, soldier fly, stable fly, and syrphid  fly  [rat-tailed
maggot])  may  also  be numerous at certain times of the year. In
addition, species of the biting  fly  group  (mosquitoes,  biting
gnats,  black  flies, and tabanids [horse and deer flies]) may be
pests if the hog unit is within the flight range of their aquatic
breeding areas. Members of this group are blood-feeders and, when
adults emerge, they must find animals on which to feed.

     The biting fly group breed along or in  streams,  waterways,
flooded pastures and, if they are not properly managed, in animal
waste holding ponds. Holding ponds should have steep  slopes  and
vegetation should not be allowed to grow near the water or on the
pond slopes. The solids in a holding pond should be removed  when
no longer covered with liquid. Flooded pastures should be drained
or treated for mosquito control.

     Most filth fly species  deposit  eggs  in  moist,  decaying,
organic matter including swine manure. The life cycle is composed
of an egg, larva, pupa, and adult stage.  During  the  summer,  a
cycle can be completed within 10-14 days. The reproductive poten-
tial for house flies is very high with females depositing 400-600
eggs during their life span of 2-3 weeks.

     Research indicates the effect of house flies and other filth
flies  on weight gains and feed efficiency of pigs is negligible.
However, the possibility for disease transmission  and  for  nui-
sance  lawsuits generally makes the control of these pests a pru-
dent management strategy.

Control Recommendations

     The first consideration for a filth fly  management  program
should  be  sanitation.  If the doors, openings to aeration fans,
and the drop down sides are screened, the number of flies  enter-
ing a building will be reduced.

     Animal waste, bedding, and spilled feed should be removed at
least  weekly.   Disposal of the waste is critical to fly manage-
ment. If the material is spread on fields, it  should  be  spread
thin enough to dry quickly or be incorporated into the soil; oth-
erwise, it could become a fly breeding source. If the  manure  is
stacked,  it  should  have  sharply sloped sides to prevent water
penetration, or it should be covered  with  black  plastic  which
creates  enough heat to destroy fly eggs and maggots. Every swine
facility, regardless of type, has some sanitation problem  unique
to  that facility. The key to fly management is the prevention or
removal of fly breeding sources. Proper drainage,  prevention  of
wet  areas around faulty waterers, and management of animal waste
will greatly reduce fly breeding areas.

     In slatted floor housing, where animal waste is handled as a
liquid,  the problem area may be in the waste pits. If the liquid
waste is not agitated, the material will crust at the surface and
flies will breed in the crust.  Mechanical aeration, adding water
and preventing the pits from overfilling (no closer than 1 ft. to
the  slats)  prevents  the  formation of a crust. Feed and animal
waste may accumulate at the top and sides of the pit. The use  of
high pressure washes at 2-wk. intervals should prevent this prob-
lem. Regular removal or drainage of animal wastes is essential to
efficient manure management in housing systems.

     The ``Cargill''-style open-front type buildings are designed
to  facilitate  easy  cleaning if a high-pressure water system is
available to wash the manure off the apron  into  drainage  chan-
nels. Drainage of solids into a holding pond may become a problem
if the slope is less than 3 degrees.  Feed  accumulation  around,
under, and behind feeders may create fly breeding areas.

     The use of straw or other organic material  for  bedding  in
farrowing  houses  and  in sow-nursing pig units is often a major
fly source. When wet,  this  bedding  provides  ideal  house  and
stable fly breeding so it should be removed at 7 to 10 day inter-
vals. The sheds in a sow-nursing pig unit should  have  removable
or hinged tops for easy cleaning.

     Dirt-pen systems (pastures) have few  fly  problems  if  the
housing  is  periodically  cleaned.  Sudan grass, Sudex, or small
grains can be planted seasonally in the pens; this provides  some
feed and utilizes the animal manure as fertilizer.

     The worst fly problems often occur in pig units that utilize
converted  farm  buildings  (calf  shed, poultry house, wing of a
barn, etc.). These facilities are seldom designed to  handle  the
animal  manure  efficiently.  Good  drainage  for  liquids  and a
minimum storage time for wet solids of 1 to 2 weeks is  necessary
to prevent fly breeding.

Insecticide Recommendations

     The insecticide  label  provides  information  on  treatment
rates, mixing directions, and restrictions such as minimum treat-
ment age, treatment-slaughter interval,  and  treatment-farrowing
interval.  Avoid contamination of feed and water sources with any
insecticide. The insecticide recommendations  made  by  Extension
personnel  should  be reviewed annually because of possible label
cancellations, new products, or new restrictions on  use  of  old

     Insecticides can be applied in several  different  ways  for
fly  control at hog facilities. The most efficient and dependable
method for fly control is the application of  surface  sprays  on
fly  resting areas. House flies rest at night on walls, ceilings,
and rafters inside buildings or under the eaves  and  on  outside
walls.  Flies  that rest on an insecticide-treated surface absorb
lethal quantities of insecticide.  Fly  specks  indicate  resting
areas  of flies.  Residual sprays should be effective for 7 to 10
days on shaded surfaces unless washed off  or  covered  by  dust.
Rotate  between  classes  of  residual  insecticides two or three
times  during  the  fly  season  to  delay  the  development   of
insecticide-resistant   fly  populations.  Residual  insecticides
include:  dimethoate (CygonO), diazinon, malathion, methoxychlor,
stirofos  (RabonO),  permethrin  (EctibanO,  AtrobanO)  and  fen-
valerate (EctrinO). The label will  contain  mixing  instructions
and  application rates. Generally sprays are applied to the point
of runoff with either hydraulic or hand sprayers.

     Short residual knockdown or area sprays can also be utilized
in  a fly control program. Area sprays include dichlorvos (Vapona
DDVP), naled (DibromO), synergized  pyrethrins,  malathion,  per-
methrin  (EctibanO,  AtrobanO),  and fenvalerate (EctrinO). These
sprays are applied as a mist and the  insecticide  droplets  kill
flies they contact. Area sprays can be applied with mist blowers,
hydraulic sprayers, or foggers. An area  spray  treatment  should
cover  the space in and around the entire facility, including all
shaded fly resting areas such as trees,  weeds,  shady  sides  of
buildings, and even the edge of fields.

     Insecticide baits may be used to reduce fly numbers indoors,
but  will  not  provide  adequate  overall  fly  control  if used
exclusively. Baits can be used inside swine  buildings,  offices,
and  feed  handling facilities but care should be taken to assure
that pets or pigs do not have access to them. Baits can  be  pur-
chased  ready-to-use  (Golden  MalrinO)  or  some of the residual
spray insecticides (methoxychlor,  diazinon,  malathion)  can  be
mixed with water and sugar and used as a slurry for a bait.

     Larvicides and feed additives can be employed for  fly  con-
trol. Larvicides are sprayed on fly breeding areas and feed addi-
tives are fed to an animal and pass through the  digestive  tract
into  the  manure.  Neither  method is very effective because the
acidity of the fly breeding material breaks down the  insecticide
rapidly.  A  second  consideration  is  that resistance generally
develops more rapidly when immature insects are  treated.  Almost
any  of the insecticides listed as residual sprays can be used as
a  larvacide.  Stirophos  (RabonO)  is  the  only  feed  additive
registered for use with pigs.

     Two methods of control  can  be  used  simultaneously.  Area
sprays  can be rotated with residual sprays. Residual sprays will
last approximately 7 to 10 days and the surviving, newly  emerged
flies  can't  deposit  eggs for approximately a week. A knockdown
spray can be applied when fly numbers start to increase and  then
in  another  week  a residual spray can be applied to fly resting
areas. This alternation  of  control  methods  should  delay  the
development of insecticide resistant flies.

     Biological control, which would utilize fly pupal  parasites
(wasps),  has  potential for integration into a filth fly control
program. However, commercial companies seldom have  the  research
basis  for determining which native parasite species will provide
the best control.


     An effective fly control program  requires  a  comprehensive
animal  waste  management plan. Reliance on insecticides alone is
costly, ineffective, and usually leads to the  rapid  development
of insecticide-resistant fly populations. Each hog operation will
have some fly breeding areas unique to that  operation,  and  the
key to good fly control is to find and eliminate those areas.


     Reference to products in this publication is not intended to
be  an  endorsement to the exclusion of others which may be simi-
lar. Persons using such products assume responsibility for  their
use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer.

NEW 6/89 (5M)

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