Fly and Rodent Control

Fly season has made its appearance. What can be done to control flies and rodents? Flies and rodents, first of all, are pests; can cause damage to your barn, increasing the need for repairs, and also cause irritation to the swine. Furthermore, both flies and rodents can transmit diseases, by being a mechanical vector. A mechanical vector is a living organism that transmits an infectious agent via physical contact from an infected animal to a susceptible animal. In this article, I will focus on flies. Eleven different kinds of flies are common around swine facilities and they come from different places. Below is a chart to summarize these differences.

Graph courtesy of Roger Moon, UMN
Graph courtesy of Roger Moon, UMN

Small filth flies develop in manure storage systems, soiled bedding, and moist, fermenting animal feed, they can be managed through source reduction in manure pit. At cleanout, power wash under feeders and along pig walls to remove debris, then agitate to break up solids before pumping out.

Large filth flies can spread pathogens, such as PRRSv. It has been shown Schurrer et al. 2004, that house flies can spread PRRS virus more than 1 mile from the source. These flies are managed through source reduction, exclusion, and premise sprays.

Mosquitos can cause “bug bites” that some packers must trim if severe enough. Mosquito control includes disposing of containers that hold water, grade property to prevent standing water, therefore dispersing rainwater and mow grass areas to keep vegetation short.

There are many on-animal sprays, larvicides, and barn sprays available. Additionally, many manure pile treatment plans are available to help with fly control. These are not the only options as stated above, cleanliness, control of feed spills, and compost pit management are other very important measures that must be taken.

Contact your Four Star Veterinarian to discuss control programs.