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The Cost of Horn Flies

Horn flies are one of the livestock pests with the greatest impact on the health and productivity of cattle. Estimated economic losses in U.S. cattle due to horn flies is 1.36 billion per year.

Horn flies cause damage by their continual blood feeding. The flies feed frequently and exclusively on blood, piercing the skin of cattle with their proboscis and taking around 20 small blood meals each day, resulting in as much as one pint of blood loss per day per animal.*"

Pain and irritation, interrupted grazing, defensive behaviors, lack of rest and blood loss can cause up to 30 percent less weight gain in just 80 days.

• With high summertime populations, horn flies cause cattle to lose weight and lower milk production

• Economic infestations range from 200 to 300 or more flies per animal and usually develop in late May or June and then persist into the fall

• Horn flies reduce beef production efficiency and the economic loss is manifested in growing cattle

• Normally, growing cattle gain an extra 1.5 pounds per week when horn flies are controlled, that is an extra 24 pounds ($30 to $42 value add) during a 4 month grazing period.

Convenient and effective treatment

Compared to most conventional treatments, including sprays, pour-ons, eartags, dustbags and feed additives, the VetGun with AiM-L and AiM-A Abamectin™ VetCaps is an easy, timely and stress-free treatment and control of horn flies – and with minimal labor. Fits your resistance management program, too.

There is no need to round-up cattle or run them through a chute. VetGun requires less labor, creates less stress, risks less injury – to you and your cattle – and delivers consistent and accurate dosage control.

*University of Florida extension.

The following is a sample rotation schedule of how AiM-L and AiM-A VetCaps could be used for control of horn fly and lice if first treatment of the season is with ivermectin.

Step 1: Treat with AiM-L when flies start to appear

Step 2: Treat with AiM-A* when flies approach approximately 200/animal

Step 3: Treat with AiM-L four weeks after AiM-A treatment

Step 4: Treat with AiM-A* when flies approach approximately 200/animal

During winter and early spring, treat with 2x AiM-L two weeks apart to control lice. 

Vet Gun Rotation Chart Rev 0118

For for more information on the VetGun products or for technical assistance contact us at 1 (800) 542-8916.