Fly control is the next key factor in pinkeye prevention. This often includes a combination of insecticide ear tags, VetCaps, pour-ons, sprays, mineral feeders, rubs and dust bags.
Ear tags for fly control have been available for many years for the control of horn flies and also as an aid in the control of face flies and ticks. There are now three classes of insecticides available in tag form: pyrethroids, organophosphates, and the newest class, abamectins. It is recommended to rotate the class of insecticide every year or two to prevent resistance from building up in the horn fly population.
Face flies spread the pinkeye bacteria by feeding on the tears and secretions around the eyes, travelling from animal to animal. Of the classes of insecticides, the pyrethroids offer the best protection against face flies. For best effect, the tag should be applied as close to fly season as possible. The tag should also be removed at the end of the fly season (or when they are no longer killing flies) to prevent resistance from building up in the horn fly population. (Organophosphate tags are usually superior for controlling horn flies and ticks.)
Using a mineral feeder with an insecticide applicator, such as the Bull Master II with Fly Killer Kover or the Dustacator Mineral Feeder & Livestock Duster adds the benefit of applying insecticide every time the animal uses the feeder, and can be used to enhance the effectiveness of fly tags.
A cattle rub with face flips can also be an effective tool in applying insecticide to the face area of cows and calves to help prevent face flies and also aids in controlling horn flies, lice, and ticks. Placing dust bags or fly bullets with insecticide around mineral feeders is another option in providing continuous application during the fly season.
Mist spraying is another common method that producers use to combat flies. Cattlemen draw cattle into an area with feed and manually spray the face, legs, belly and back every two or three weeks using a 4-wheeler or pickup spray unit. The use of a longer range device such as the VetGun System can effectively treat the animals not close enough to spray, with treatment lasting approximately a month. Two insecticide choices are now available for rotation with the VetGun System (AiM-L and AiM-A).
Keep up with the latest options for fly control by consulting your veterinarian or give us a call and talk to one of our veterinarians for product information. 1-800-468-0059