Dealing with flies is simply part and parcel of owning and running a farm, but if you've started to notice a marked increase in the number you're seeing compared to normal, there might be a deeper problem. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about flies on your pig farm, from signs to look out for, sources, and the importance of monitoring. Let’s go!
What Signs Should I Be Looking For?
While you might have already noticed more flies around your farm and livestock, that's not the only tell-tale sign of an infestation. Because flies are a common - if not guaranteed - aspect of farm life, you want to look out for these other indicators to confirm whether or not you do have a problem, as suspected.
We've compiled some of the most significant signs to look out for when checking for a fly infestation:
- Frequent Sightings
- Small Dark Clusters of Spots
Common Sources of Flies on Pig Farms
One of the most common sources of fly infestations is to do with manure. That’s because manure is the perfect breeding ground for flies and provides them with almost all the nutrients and environmental factors they need to survive - warmth, moisture, and food.
Keeping on top of manure management is an excellent way of keeping flies at bay. An especially good trick is to compost your manure, as this will kill off most of the fly eggs that have already been laid. Aside from that, making sure you clean areas where the waste builds up regularly will give you a good headstart.
Carcass Disposal Sites
For similar reasons to manure, carcass disposal sites are often a source of fly infestations due to the moisture and food opportunities for the flies. In fact, flies (among other pests) are known to flock to decaying flesh and carcasses incredibly quickly due to their impressive sense of smell.
To prevent infestations, keep your carcass disposal site covered as much as possible and ensure there is good ventilation in the area, too. This step will help to avoid condensation build-up, which could make the problem even worse.
Another location in which you might find fly breeding areas and a general build-up of flies around your farm is where there is spilled feed. They will be attracted to this as a food source and stick around, hoping for more. Even worse, they will then find the manure and start breeding. Given the disease risk flies pose to pigs, this is something you want to avoid.
To prevent this, try to keep spilled feed to a minimum. Another option is to use an additive in the feed - this will not only put the flies off the feed itself but will also go through the livestock and into their manure - hopefully having the same effect there.
Buildings With Poor Ventilation
Poor ventilation can be a bad thing for fly infestations for a number of reasons. Firstly, if it is spring or summer and the air is already warm or humid, poor ventilation will make for a stagnant, even warmer environment - perfect for flies. Secondly, it can also lead to condensation build-up in a number of areas. This is especially true in locations with manure or carcasses.
We recommend investing in some high-quality ventilation systems to avoid this and simultaneously keep your livestock cooler on a warm day. Win-win!
The Importance of Monitoring Flies on Pig Farms
While we are all aware of the annoying effect of flies (and just think how the pigs feel!), the dangers of an infestation are much more significant than a simple nuisance. Many flies feed on blood and will target larger animals such as pigs as a food source, but be warned - many will not hesitate to bite humans, too.
Their presence can also lead to contamination of your products and therefore lead to commercial damages as well. But, by far and away, the most significant risk of fly infestations is the diseases they carry. This is a huge issue both for your animals, but also for your own health, too.
Keeping on top of monitoring fly numbers at your farm means you have the best chance of avoiding these potential issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Find Where Flies Lay Eggs on Pig Farms?
Various methods are available to find the source of your fly infestation problem, but some examples include resting counts, paper traps, scrape and count, and grid counts.
Need Help with Fly Control on Your Pig Farm? Shop Dalton Engineering!
We know the danger fly infestations come with, and that's why at Dalton Engineering, we're dedicated to helping you tackle this problem head-on. We have a large number of fly infestation control methods available and a wealth of knowledge ready to share, so get in touch now to see exactly how we can help you!