By Dr Jolly Kabirizi
To be successful in controlling flies and bad smell on the farm, farmers must implement a control program that best fits their particular operation.
Reliance on a single practice or pesticide product is not the best approach to achieving effective and economical pest control. A better approach is to combine routine sanitation with a variety of pesticide strategies whenever flies are a problem. Do not wait for heavy fly populations to build up.
Use a disinfectant: Kerol is a strong disinfectant and should be used wherever a strong disinfectant is required at home, industry, public institutions, farms, etc. Kerol can help you keep your stalls fresh and odour-free.
After cleaning the floor, sprinkle diluted Kerol on the floor at least twice a day. Kerol is available in the Container Village. Store Kerol properly as it can be poisonous to both livestock and humans. It also serves as a snake repellent.
Proper manure and urine disposal regularly: Spread the manure thinly outdoors so that fly eggs and larvae will be killed by drying, or put the waste in a pit and cover it with a black, plastic tarpaulin or iron sheet. Motivate your workers and encourage them to remove cow dung at least every three hours (depending on the number of cows). Disposal should be done at a reasonable distance from the cattle shed.
Eliminate silage seepage areas: Wet litter, manure stacks, old wet hay or straw bales, and other organic matter accumulations that may attract flies anywhere on the farm. Wet feed remaining at the ends of mangers will breed flies.
Provide proper drainage in barnyards: Use clean gravel and other fill to eliminate low spots in livestock yards. Proper grading and tiling can reduce wet barnyards. Keep water troughs leak-free.
Remove all decaying organic matter: Because flies need warm, moist breeding grounds in which to lay their eggs, remove all decaying organic matter from your property. Piles of rotting leaves, grass clippings, decaying fruit or vegetables from gardens all provide an attractive environment in which eggs can be laid.
Remove fly resting areas near your shed and pastures by keeping grass and weeds cut short. Flies rest on long grass to escape direct sunlight.
Sticky insect trap cards are glue-based traps used to catch and monitor pests including flies. Sticky traps attract pest insects using a specific colour spectrum. The glue is Ultraviolet (UV) light and adheres more to the board than to human skin or clothing fibre. The UV light has a higher frequency than visible light. Hang the cards inside and outside the unit.
Natural repellents like Neem oil etc, may be applied regularly to repel both biting flies and ticks. This does not have any harmful effects of chemicals and chances of resistance developing are also remote. The application should be always done against the direction of the hair and should cover the entire body, especially the underbelly and legs.