(Dan) Hey folks, welcome the DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson here. Thanks for joining us. We have a great show today. Dr. Nora Schrag, who is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Clinical Sciences of Department at the Vet School at K-State. She is going to talk to us today about controlling flies, different types of flies, different pharmaceuticals and different applications, and a few fun things along the way.
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(Dan) Hey there and welcome to DocTalk. Dr. Schrag, welcome. (Nora) Thank you, good to be here. (Dan) Folks, this is Dr. Nora Schrag. She’s a friend and a colleague here at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, where she serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor. And basically she’s the veterinarian in charge of our ambulatory clinic for food animals, food and fiber animals, here at the Vet School. Seeing patients, teaching students and– (Nora) …and having fun. (Dan) …and you do a great job. She does a lot of good things, not just for our students but also for producers and veterinarians around the state and beyond. So we’re going to talk about flies. (Nora) Sounds good. (Dan) Its summer time and we start think about flies. And so let’s jump into the route about, what are some of the different types of flies? (Nora) There are basically three types of flies that are important in cattle, and significantly economically important. If the cattle are bothered by these flies, then we’re going to get decreased gains and decreased production. And so it really makes sense to do something for fly control. So the first type would be horn flies. And so if you remember the horn flies spend most of their time on the backs of cattle. And then the second type is face flies and they, true to their name, spend a lot of time on the face. And then we have stable flies that spend some time down on their, usually their front legs but definitely down on their legs. So those are the three main things. (Dan) So where they’re going to be located, besides the general appearance of them, but horns on the back and face flies on the face and the rest of them are on down in the legs… (Nora) Yes. (Dan) …when they get to stomping. (Nora) That’s right. (Dan) So when we think about these different flies, what are some of the different things that we need to know about the flies that might make it easier or harder to control? (Nora) So, we will start talking about horn flies. And the good thing about them is that they live mostly on the cow and that might seem like a bad thing. Except that makes control easier. So they spend a lot of time on the cows and if we put any insecticide on the cow, we’re likely to kill those flies. And just for a reference point, it really doesn’t take that many horn flies to cause a problem. So if you think about, the palm of my hand was covered in horn flies, that’s about 200 flies and that’s all it takes to cause an economic significance. (Dan) Wow. (Nora) But that said, if we treat the cow, we treat the horn flies. Face flies spend some time on and off the cow. They’ll be repelled if we put the drug on the cow, but not quite as easy to control as the horn flies. And then stable flies are really the ones that spend a lot of their time away from the cow and their larva live in feed material and so really cleaning up the environment is where we control those. (Dan) And so then the stable flies are going to be the hardest for us to put some drug on the cattle and have an effect; it’s really going to be more about environmental control. (Nora) Right, absolutely. (Dan) Cool. Anything else on the different types? (Nora) Just maybe as you know houseflies are really not significant economically to cattle, they’re significant when you’re trying to have a picnic. But for cattle, houseflies are not a problem. (Dan) The one thing on the houseflies is that they can carry the E.coli… (Nora) Yes, that’s true, they can carry those bugs. (Dan) …from farm to farm. (Nora) That’s right. (Dan) And its more about having them land on my potato salad than anything else. We call potato salad media. (Nora) Yes, that’s right. (Dan) Because it grows a lot of stuff when it’s sitting out of the picnic. But folks, we’re going to take a break. We’ve got Dr. Nora Schrag here. It’s going to be a great show about flies. When we come back, we’ll talk about some of the drugs and control processes in cows. You’re watching DocTalk, more after these messages. Great job.
(Dan) Folks, welcome back to DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson, Dr. Nora Schrag. Dr. Schrag is a veterinarian here at the College of Veterinary Medicine where she works in our Ambulatory Clinic and is teaching students in a lot of cases. And she is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences. Talking about flies, we’ve been through the horn, face and stable flies. And now let’s talk a little bit about some of the pharmaceuticals or drugs that we can use to control flies. (Nora) Okay. So I think this can be really slightly overwhelming when you look at all the options out there for fly control. And if we really simplify it down, we can just talk about three drug categories. So there are three basic categories. There’s Organophosphates, there’s Synthetic Pyrethroids and then there’s Avermectins. Those three categories work slightly differently. They all kill flies in a little bit different way. But what’s really important are the differences. It comes to be really important when you start talking about resistance. So those flies will develop resistance likely to one of those categories. And then hopefully you can switch to a different one and get some control with that. So I think when you start looking at lists of fly products, is a good idea to touch base with your veterinarian. All the drugs have, there are many different drugs, so you can’t just go by name, you need to touch base with your veterinarian. Just to figure out what category that drug is in. So that when you switch to maybe fly tags or pour-ons, that you’re truly switching drug classes and not just switching to a different brand name of a real similar drug. (Dan) Yes. And that’s what’s hard is to get past the trade names and understand what’s truly in the products, so that when you’re making the changes you can shift them around. When we talk about these drugs, are there different types of application or different types of, and I don’t mean about how you put them on, but is there different times of the year that one is better than the other or they all just, is it more important to just focus on the resistance? (Nora) Well, I think that’s really regionally specific. So, the times of year that flies are going to peak here in the center of the country is a little different than when they’re going to be clear on the East Coast. And so I would say just talking to your veterinarian about, hey, what’s fly control in my particularly region and what drugs are most appropriate at what times, is probably the way to go about that. (Dan) And I suppose it’s probably more of an issue as far as resistance in places where we have flies’ year round. (Nora) Right. Absolutely. (Dan) Rather than just having them, we don’t have a lot in January. (Nora) Right. And one interesting thing about resistance is, if you actually wait just a little bit longer for your fly control and you let those flies in or mingle and breed in the beginning of the season without any exposure to the drug, you’ll actually decrease their likelihood of resistance because they’ve mixed genes and so now you’ve got some that are susceptible, have bred with some that are out susceptible and so your total population actually is better off if you , you want to be careful, you want to balance it, not get too many flies. But really if you wait just a little bit, until the flies really come out, you’re probably going to get better from a resistance standpoint. (Dan) That’s really cool because a lot of times we put the, and we’re going to talk about application next but we do it when we catch them. (Nora) Yes. (Dan) And we might be two or three months from when we actually need it. (Nora) That’s right. (Dan) Folks, Thanks for watching DocTalk, we have Dr. Nora Schrag. When we come back, we’re going to talk about how to apply some of these drugs and how we apply some of the practices to prevent flies from getting on your cows. It’s a great show, great topic, something that bothers all of us. (Nora) That’s right. (Dan) Come back after these messages and we’ll have more.
(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson and Dr. Nora Schrag. We’re here at Kansas State University’s, College of Veterinary Medicine where we’re both employed. And Dr. Schrag is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences. She heads up our Ambulatory Clinic here at the Vet School and does a lot of work with cow herds in the Flint Hills and beyond. We’re talking about flies and the different types of flies, the drugs. Now let’s talk about the applications. (Nora) Sure. So there’s a whole menagerie of ways to apply fly control. And so some of the ones that have been around for a long time, we think about Back Rubbers or Dusters. And when we think about those, first we’ve got to go back to the flies and say, hey, which type of flies are these going to control? So, if you’re looking at horn flies, back rubbers are a great idea, right? (Dan) Right. (Nora) If you’re looking at stable flies, they’re really not going to do a whole lot. And face flies fall somewhere in the middle there. But the big thing about rubbers or dusters or any of those things that are out in the pen, they’re pretty, you can apply it to the Back Rubber and then go do whatever else you’re going to do, it’s easy. But you’ve got to remember, if you want them to be effective, the cattle have to use them. So they’ve got to be in or out to a watering tank so that they have to walk through it. Otherwise your control is going to be pretty minimal with it. (Dan) Yes, when you see the cow track around the Duster. (Nora) Right. And you know it’s not really doing as much good as it could be. But if you force the cows use them, then they do, they’re quite effective especially on horn flies. So that’s one thing. And then another one that’s been around for a long time is Ear Tags. And so those are great, apply them and then you don’t have to worry about them. Most of them are labeled for three to five months. We think that will cover most of the fly season. But the tricky thing is like we’re talking about before, some of us are working these calves in April, early May and really we’re not seeing flies in this part of the country peak until early June, maybe mid-June. And so when we start talking about resistance, maybe we ought to be thinking about how soon we’re applying those and if it’s at all possible to wait a little later, we should wait on the application of those fly tags. (Dan) Yes. And it makes some sense too and it would be interesting to go back to some of these pink eye outbreaks. Now that we sit here and talk about it as, when did they put in the fly tag? (Nora) Yes. (Dan) If they put fly tags in, when did they put them in relative to peak fly season and just like you’re talking about, if we do it after they breed and intermingle and we actually breed some of the resistance out. (Nora) Right. Then are they more effective. (Dan) Yes. So it really does beg the question. So thinking about other applications. (Nora) Then we’ve got Pour-Ons. And those work, you’ve just got to get them on the cow. And maybe the struggle with those, if you’ve got nice quiet cattle and you can walk in the pasture I mean I’ve got clients that throws some cubes out and they can pour their cows and never run them in. That doesn’t work with every group of cows and so the caveat to pour-ons is you got to get it on them frequently, so we figured three weeks is probably what you get with most pour-ons. So that’s one option and then Foggers and Misters. I think they’ve become more popular maybe in a feedlot setting but we’ve also been having some people try using the foggers, driving out in the pasture. Those foggers last even a shorter amount of time so you got to fog them like once a week or so. (Dan) So the most of it is going to be in the rubbers and the fly tags and some of those? (Nora) Right. Some of these things that last a little longer. (Dan) Cool. Well, I remember bathing in organophosphates that in Grandpa’s Clinic. (Nora) Yes. [laughs] (Dan) And set up the shoot and see which direction the wind is blowing, and I stay on the other side so. [laughter] (Dan) My hair is greasy when we get down working cows. Anyway, when we come back, we’re going to talk about some new stuff with fly control with Dr. Nora Schrag, thanks for joining us.
(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk. We’re here with Dr. Nora Schrag. And it’s great to have her on the show. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor here in the Department of Clinical Sciences and heads up our Ambulatory Services for Food and Fiber Animals in the Veterinary Health Center. We’re talking about flies and there’s new stuff out there. Some things that people need to be made aware of as what’s going on. (Nora) Sure. One of the new Earth items is that we’ve always put fly tags in but now we’ve got strips. And fly strips are basically the same thing as tags but instead of punching another hole in that cow’s ear, you’re just hooking it on the back of the ear tag that’s already there. It works just the same way. (Dan) Kind of like an air freshener. (Nora) Yes, it kind of is. You can change it out every year, yes. It depends on the brand whether the strip is cheaper than the tag. Some of them are the same but you don’t have to put another hole in that cow’s ear. And some of these cows get owiely about getting fly tags put in every year, even if you’re hitting the same hole. So that’s one option. And then another newer option, this is mostly on the dairy side but I thought it was interesting. We now have a fly vacuum. (Dan) [laughs] (Nora) So these cows walk in and you have to get them a little bit used to it. But they walk in and it shoots air at the flies and blows all the flies off in the same direction towards the vacuum that sucks them up. Which for dairy cows, you’re dealing with withdrawal times or anything like that and you’re getting a little bit of fly control so. It’s a little expensive to start with. I’m not sure if it’s going to catch on but it is a new deal. (Dan) Maybe that’s the difference, maybe we come out with the handheld fly vacuum for in the house- (Nora) [laughs] There you go. (Dan) -instead of fly swatter, you don’t break the window. (Nora) Yes, there you go. We just vacuum them up. Yes. So I thought that was interesting. And then the one thing that we might make people aware of is, there was a recent recall on ear tags. So you might check if you have purchased ear tags in this year, check with your, whoever you purchased those tags from, and make sure your tags weren’t recalled. There was a little bit of eye irritation, it was a newer drug, so just check and make sure the ears are okay. (Dan) Okay. So, we got a fly vacuum, fly strips and make sure…the recall deal is — just make sure you’re not using tags that are recalled, they’re going to cause issues for your cows. It’s okay to mention it’s Bayer’s product that – the big thing is, is Bayer and then stepped out and said, Hey, we’re going to recall them bring them back in and fix problem before we have one. (Nora) Yes. And they’re really doing a good job of replacing tags and helping people make sure that they get the tags that are causing problem out of them. (Dan) Cool. Well, thanks for being on the show. (Nora) Thanks for having me. (Dan) Folks, she always does a great job. It’s fun to have her on the show. And thank you for watching DocTalk. Remember, always work with your local veterinarian and if you want to know more about DocTalk, you can find us on the web at www.doctalktv.com. Thanks for watching the show today. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson and I’ll see you down the road.
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