Blog Archives

Insects in Livestock Feed and Hay

Insects show great promise AS sustainable food sources for fish, poultry, and swine. Some species can efficiently convert organic waste to nutritional supplements while significantly reducing its mass and making it unsuitable as a breeding site for pests. However, insects

Posted in Livestock Pests

Sucking and Biting Lice

Lice are small, wingless, flat-bodied insects with legs modified for grasping hair shafts. They are generally host-specific. For example, cattle lice will not survive for long on swine. They are obligate parasites because they must have blood meals to develop

Posted in Livestock Pests

Asian Longhorned Ticks Keeps Popping Up

Asian longhorned ticks (ALT) (Figure 1) are small, reddish brown ticks with no distinctive markings to aid in quick recognition. Unfed adults are smaller (3 to 4 mm long) than the other hard ticks that we commonly encounter. The 2017

Posted in Livestock Pests

Rains + Heat = Fly Control Problems

Pasture flies (horn flies and face flies) and confinement flies (stable flies and house flies) need moist breeding materials. Horn flies and face flies develop in fresh cow manure; stable flies and house flies develop in mixtures of manure, decaying

Posted in Livestock Pests

Black Flies

There has been a significant outbreak of black flies in the Arkansas delta this spring (see this article). In Kentucky, these biting gnats were attacking people last week in Jefferson County. Historically, black flies have tormented livestock along streams and

Posted in Livestock Pests

Horn Fly: The $1 Billon Insect

Horn flies are important pests of pastured cattle (Figure 1). They use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to take about 30 blood meals every day. The almost incessant feeding of large populations can severely impact growing calves and lactating cows. Horn flies

Posted in Livestock Pests

Cattle Lice

Lice may be the reason for cattle scratching to the point of rubbing off large patches of hair or creating raw sores. The biting and sucking lice that infest cattle are most numerous and active during winter and can spread

Posted in Livestock Pests

Fly Strike in Calves

Calving presents the opportunity for fly strikes. Fly strike begins when a female blow fly, usually metallic green bottle fly, lays a small batch of oblong white eggs on an attractive site. These scavenger flies do not deposit eggs on

Posted in Livestock Pests

Cattle Grub Treatments

Cattle grubs damage muscle tissue along the back line of cattle and cut holes in the hide to breathe (Figure 1). The results of their handiwork generally do not appear until February, but now is the time to apply the

Posted in Livestock Pests

Stable Flies

Stable flies are blood suckers that look much like house flies, except that they have piercing-mouthparts, which jut out like bayonets from the front of their heads. These insects visit cattle and horses only to feed. They spend the rest

Posted in Livestock Pests

Biting Flies and Horses

Chronic summer dermatitis and “sweet itch” are terms for recurring allergic skin reactions that horses may experience from late summer into early fall, the typical fly season. Bites of small gnats (ceratopogonids, no-see-ums, Culicoides species), horse flies, stable flies, and

Posted in Livestock Pests

Insecticide-Impregnated Cattle Ear Tags

Cattle receiving insecticide-impregnated ear tags take their fly control system with them. Ear tags have provided a popular option to control the horn fly, a blood-sucking insect that hits producers with a $1 billion bill for losses and control costs

Posted in Livestock Pests

Feed-Thru (Oral Larvicide) Insecticides for Pasture Fly Control

Eliminating or treating a pest’s breeding site is often right at the top of the list of pest management options. It can work if the breeding site is very specific – like freshly deposited cow manure, the egg-laying site of

Posted in Livestock Pests

Two Species of Ticks Active During Kentucky Winters

Black-legged Tick In recent years, the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) (Figure 1) has become increasingly more common in Kentucky and now occurs throughout the state (Figure 2). Adults are active from November through March, whenever the temperature is above freezing.

Posted in Human Pests, Livestock Pests, Pet Pests

Fly Strike or Wound Maggots

Blow flies are blue-black to green scavenger flies that are common across Kentucky.  Females are attracted to carcasses, manure, or decaying organic matter.  Some species will lay eggs on the unhealed umbilical wound or accumulated manure around the anus of

Posted in Livestock Pests