Problems caused by flies – or more accurately by people complaining about flies - from free range poultry farms have greatly increased in the last few years. The cost in terms of time, money and reputation in dealing with these complaints is very considerable, but can be much reduced by good forward planning. |
Fly control measures must evolve to accommodate the developments in animal production and housing practices. The species of flies, their relative abundance and the success of fly control measures are all affected by animal husbandry practices, especially housing and manure-handling systems.This is accidental, of course, and the unplanned result of not considering fly production when designing livestock and poultry production facilities.
Reliance on the use of insecticides alone for fly control seldom provides a satisfactory answer. Insecticides are most effective when the fly population is already suppressed with proper manure management methods which minimize fly breeding and encourage populations of fly predators and parasites.
The search for new, effective fly control chemicals is a time-consuming and expensive process, with only occasional success. It is therefore important to delay or avoid resistance development. This can only be achieved by using insecticides in conjunction with effective cultural and biological measures.
A multi-method management approach to fly control, using a mixture of cultural, biological and chemical control measures adapted to the production system, will always provide the most cost-effective solution.
Effective management entails a combination of insect control methods to reduce that mean level to an acceptable level; flies cannot be eliminated, but their numbers can be kept at a tolerable level.
In the case of the house fly and other flies in confined-animal production facilities, the precise mean level that is acceptable depends upon the circumstances. Regardless of this, an effective fly control management program should always be based on an integration of cultural, biological and chemical methods of fly suppression.
To avoid fly problems and to minimize the risk of being served with a notice or summons, a system of integrated fly control should be in place and must be documented. The system should comply with the latest advice for the type of unit being operated.
It is a defense to an abatement notice that, at the time of its service, best practicable means were being used to minimize the nuisance. This will be your integrated fly control system, so it is vital that you document the method that you use to assess the fly or larval numbers and when and how you applied the controls. You will need to demonstrate that you have operated in a way that will keep the litter and manure dry, so your ventilation and food and water regimes will come under close scrutiny.
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