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Home Manage Cattle Surrounds Keep Flies Out

Keep Flies Out

Reduce fly breeding areas

Good sanitation is critical in a feedlot fly management plan. It is essential to frequently remove any matter flies breed in, such as wet manure for house flies and stable flies, dung pads for bushflies and carcasses for blowflies. Good drainage will also reduce fly breeding as flies cannot breed in dry matter. Minimising fly breeding gives natural enemies such as parasitic wasps and mites a better chance of limiting fly populations.


Regularly remove manure from under fence lines, drains and sedimentation collection areas. To completely stop fly breeding, this must be done every seven days during summer and less frequently in cooler seasons.

The numbers of larvae breeding under fence lines can be reduced by 84%, 67% and 55% by weekly, fortnightly and monthly fence line cleaning.

Maintain adequate cattle stocking densities in pens to compact the manure and trample fly larvae.

Align and shape manure stockpiles and composting windrows (lines of mounded manure) to prevent water from ponding and minimise their suitability for fly breeding. Composting manure in windrows prevents fly breeding because of the high temperatures generated during this process. More information on waste management on beef cattle feedlots can be found in this pdf – Beef Cattle Feedlots : waste management and utilisation.

Frequently clean hospital areas and stables and remove any hay spillage to reduce fly breeding.

Avoid wet areas

Manure, spilled feed or other organic matter becomes highly favourable for maggot breeding when kept wet. Sites where water lies and close to leaky pipes, taps or troughs are major fly breeding areas. Ensure feedlots remain well drained and promptly fix any leaky pipes taps or troughs.

Spilt feed

Avoid feed spillages where possible and regularly clean up spills near feed bunks, in the feed processing area, in hospital pens and horse stables. Do not leave feed residues in bunks for extended periods and add feed spills to the composting manure.


Clean up any spills, particularly along the sides of silage pits, and cover the silage pits so that the edges are sealed to reduce fly breeding in this area.


Carcases are the major site of blowfly breeding near feedlots. Compost, rather than bury, cattle carcasses. Cover carcasses completely with manure or some other carbon source to speed up composting and prevent blowflies breeding.

Feedlot maintenance

Check regularly for water leaks from troughs. Control weeds and keep grass and other vegetation short, particularly around pens, drains, sedimentation systems and holding ponds. This makes it more difficult for flies to find resting places and reduces the vegetation–manure interface, a preferred breeding area for stable flies.

Conduct a thorough feedlot clean-up in early spring, before the start of the fly season to curb fly populations.

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