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One of the worst fears of a poultry farm owner is pests infesting their facilities and production. They have to make efforts on pest management and sanitation. Here are some ways to control and prevent flies from the infestation of poultry farms, such as cleaning, using traps, and chemical solutions. ~ Ed.
Poultry farming makes up a large portion of the British economy. Every year, poultry farmers in the UK produce around 2,000 tons of poultry meat. In 2019, over 217 million eggs were exported by the United Kingdom alone.
One of the biggest management costs in the poultry industry is pest control. Poultry facilities can quickly become infested with a wide range of pests, including flies, mice, lice, bedbugs, and ants. However, poultry farmers can reduce the damage caused by pests by implementing a few basic pest control strategies.
One of the best ways to control pests in your poultry farm is to prevent them from getting inside at all. While it’s challenging to prevent entry for all pests, there are a few things you can try. Many poultry farmers use one or all of the following techniques:
- Remove the pest’s food sources from your poultry facilities
- Remove the pest’s habitat and breeding grounds
- Keep your climate conditions in check humidity, heat, light, etc
- Make sure your facilities have proper air circulation
You can also make sure you store all your feed properly to avoid a rodent infestation, and cycle pastures frequently to prevent stomach parasites.
Why Are Flies Such a Big Problem for Poultry Farmers?
Small and large-scale farms can both be overrun with a pesky fly infestation. Flies are generally attracted to litter, food, and water leaks, which can all be costly to remove regularly. By not taking the proper measures to remove flies from your poultry farm, your operation can develop severe health risks and potential litigation problems.
There are several species of flies that can cause a burden on your farm, but houseflies seem to be the most common in the UK. A housefly can fly up to 20 miles from its breeding ground but typically stay within a few miles of its main food source.
Houseflies are a huge problem for poultry farmers since they are capable of spreading human and poultry diseases. The species is one of the leading carriers of chicken tapeworms and has been linked to spreading numerous other viral and bacterial infections.
Understanding the Biology of a Fly
The best way to prevent and control flies within your farm is to understand fly biology. The fly’s life cycle comprises four stages:
Adult flies search for a breeding medium to lay their eggs. After the eggs develop, they become larva (also known as maggots). Maggots like to live in moist materials, such as water, plant tissue, or meat. Once the maggots develop further, they will find a dry location, and pupas will form. The pupa is the final life stage before becoming a full-grown adult fly.
The reason why there seem to be flies just about anywhere is that their development stage is extremely fast (7 to 10 days). Therefore, you can see why flies can quickly infiltrate a poultry farm if not dealt with properly.
Controlling Flies Using Traps
If you’re frustrated with the constant efforts to keep flies out of your farm, a trap may be an excellent choice. There are several types of fly traps available that do a wonderful job of catching flies and preventing them from reproducing. Zappers, sticky tape, and UV lights are some of the most popular choices for poultry farmers. Many farmers also use the red top fly trap, which uses pheromones to attract flies for up to 12 weeks.
Flytraps tend to work best for a specific type of fly, but almost all of them will keep houseflies away from your poultry facilities. If you have a small poultry farm and want to make a homemade fly trap, it’s a lot easier than you may think.
To make a homemade trap, all you need is:
- A large water bottle
- Some type of bait – fruits, and vegetables work the best
- Soapy water
That said, professional fly traps work a lot longer and can trap more flies.
Cleaning Your Poultry Facilities To Remove Flies
As a poultry farmer, you probably already know the importance of keeping your facilities clean. Proper sanitation measures are an excellent way to keep flies out and your chickens healthy. You or your team should always monitor your farm, removing feed, broken eggs, litter, or anything else that may attract flies.
When you are disposing of your waste, try to find a site that’s at least a few miles away from your farm. Also, remember to check with your local laws about waste disposal to ensure you are being compliant.
Chemical Solutions for Fly Control
Chemical solutions should be looked at as a last-ditch effort for keeping flies out of your poultry farm. While insecticides are extremely effective, they bring some potential health risks for your birds and your workers. Therefore, you should use the above management techniques before resorting to chemical solutions to protect product quality.
That said, sometimes proper management can only go so far. If you find your farm is still overrun by flies after sanitizing and setting traps, you can spray your facilities with a residual spray or use vapor strips.
Residual sprays are to be used around the doors and windows to prevent flies from entering the facilities. Keep in mind that you will need to remove all your birds from the house before applying any form of chemical spray.
Vapor strips release a toxic vapor that kills flies within a specific area. However, using vapor strips can be dangerous for your poultry farm because of the constant air movement. Some larvicides are specifically designed for killing larva within manure. However, they can also contain harmful compounds.
There is no doubt that keeping your poultry farm free of flies is a daunting task. However, it’s extremely necessary if you wish to have a successful operation. Remember; always focus your efforts on pest management and sanitation before resorting to drastic measures like chemical solutions.
Over to you
What pest control measures do you take on your poultry farm? Share in the comments.