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Maintain beef and dairy cattle performance during fly season

Expanded Fly Control Options with CRYSTALYX®

With each new season there are things that we look forward to like green grass, warm days and watching the new calf crop develop.  One thing we and our cattle do not look forward to is the suffering, annoyance and general loss of performance that excessive fly pressure can create.  We have recently expanded our fly control options available in the CRYSTALYX® self-fed supplment line.  Specifically, we have added Mineral-lyx® with ClariFly® and Stable-lyx® with ClariFly® to our product offering.  ClariFly® Larvicide prevents adult house flies, stable flies, face flies and horn flies from developing in and emerging from manure of treated cattle and horses.  ClariFly® interrupts the fly life cycle inhibiting the molting process.  Larvae die before they can become breeding adult flies.

These 2 new products are in addition to IGR Max® and IGR Pro® which control the horn fly using Altosid® as the  control agent;  and ROLYX® Max and ROLYX® Pro which control the house fly, horn fly, stable fly and face fly using Rabon® oral larvacide as the control agent. The main issue with any of these feed through fly control products is to consistently get the target level of the control agent into the animal every day, which ensures the effective levels in manure.

How Fly Control Works

How Fly Control Works

The development of the fly is controlled by having sufficient amounts of the control agent in the manure where the flies lay their eggs.  CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements are an excellent tool for consistent, predictable daily delivery of nutrients and additives such as feed through fly control.  The video below shows the daily visits of a beef cow to the CRYSTALYX® barrels using GPS tracking. 

You may be asking yourself why so many options?  To paraphrase a CRYSTALYX® dealer from a meeting this week, “You have so many options which is the right one and WHY?”  To answer his question, I explained that his customers wanted options that would fit their operation depending on their specific fly challenge and a product that would meet the requirement of their animal marketing programs.  Effective fly control is dependent on having an integrated control plan with several control methods.  I will attempt to explain this better with the points listed below.

1.  What are the fly species you want to control?

IGR® only controls the horn fly.  The horn fly is the predominate pasture fly and is responsible for the most economic damage.  It is a smaller fly and lives its entire life on the animal and develops from egg to fly in manure.  If the cattle are the only ones complaining about flies, it is most likely just the horn fly.

The house fly, stable fly and face fly are larger flies.  They can travel farther distances and often can live and breed in other spaces in addition to manure.  The ROLYX® products and the ClariFly® products will control these 3 fly species in addition to the horn fly.

2.  Are there regulations or on farm considerations that limit the use of pesticides in my operation?

Some marketing and grazing programs do not allow use of pesticides and some do.  It is not a matter of safety or science, but a perception that may be held by certain groups.  Rabon® and ClariFly® are technically a feed through larvacides.  They do not get absorbed into the animal and they degrade over time with no lingering impact on the environment.  Altosid® is an insect growth regulator and blocks a development pathway for the pupa of the horn fly.

Often we have horses with our cattle.  Rabon® is approved for equine and ClariFly® is approved for equine.  IGR® is not approved for use in equine.

3.  A successful fly control program should have a goal of limiting the number of flies on the animal.  Complete elimination of flies is impractical if not impossible.  University data suggest that a target of 100 to 200 flies per animal is the economical threshold for treatment.  In addition to using a feed through fly control such as CRYSTALYX® Brand Supplements, you should include several items in your fly control program.  The fly control methods can be and should be used in combination.

  • Sanitation - removal of breeding sites for the house fly, face fly and stable fly.
  • Fly Tag
  • Knock down sprays for adult flies as feed through product control the development of fly larvae.  They do not kill the adult fly
  • Fly bats and back rubbers for adult fly control
  • Weed control


CRYSTALYX<sup>®</sup> Feeding Station

CRYSTALYX® Feeding Station


CRYSTALYX® Feeding Station

Fly season has arrived in many parts of the country and will soon arrive in the farther northern regions.  I am looking forward to warm weather and getting onto the grass myself.   Your cattle with enjoy and utilize the pasture better with an affective fly control program.  Visit our Fly Control Products section for more detailed information on the fly control options.

Rabon® is a registered trademark of Bayer HealthCare LLC.

Altosid® and ClariFly® are registered trademarks of Welmark International.