I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t really care for my livestock entomology course in college. Fortunately for us, there are people who love the subject and work to study the flies and biting pests that we often find during these long, hot summer days.

On Episode 014 of the Agriculture Proud podcast, I sit down with Dr. Doug Ross, Technical Services Entomologist for Bayer Animal Health. Dr. Ross shares a little about the tools farmers and ranchers have to control these pests and how companies like Bayer work to make sure these products are used properly to ensure safety for our food, animals, humans and the environment.

Image via CES NCSU
Image via CES NCSU

For most of us, controlling flies around the house can be as simple as using a fly swatter or a quick trip to town for a product to use in the garden. For livestock farmers and ranchers, controlling these flies and pests can be a little more involved because pests can affect animal health, performance and even spread diseases.

As Dr. Ross shared, control for pests in livestock can fall under one of four different categories, or Defense Point: on the animal, facilities where livestock live, the environment outside facilities and treatment through feed.

This last category often refers to Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs), which are mixed into the animal’s feed, passes through to the manure and is then consumed by the insect to impact their growth, ultimately reducing their population. You may have heard of these IGRs as a pest control method. As Washington State University points out, compared with conventional pesticides, insect growth regulators are:

  • More selective
  • Less harmful to the environment
  • More compatible with biological controls
  • Less likely to be lost because of resistance

Several Land Grant Universities have resource pages with information about livestock pests in your area. Below are a few selections.

I hope you enjoy this episode of the Agriculture Proud podcast. Check out all my episodes at BeefRunner.com/podcast.

As a part of the Bayer blogger program, I am not compensated for sharing this information, but am thankful for Bayer Animal Health helping me contact experts on important topics impacting our cattle and livestock business today. As always, thoughts shared are my own. Learn more about Bayer’s efforts to support agriculture advocacy by joining the AgVocate Facebook group.

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