How to Control Flies Around Farms

Proper fly control is a must if you live on a farm in the country and keep a lot of animals. In this post, we’re going to explore how to correctly wage the war against flies to protect your horses and cattle from the non-stop harassment from these airborne pests. Read on as we explore effective fly control for farms.

Flies on the farm are a major nuisance. They harass your cattle, livestock, and poultry. Highly-strung animals won’t produce good meat, milk, or other products. Flies can also carry diseases and cause wounds that make your animals more susceptible to disease.

Flies annoy the humans who spend a lot of time outdoors, trying to do all the work to keep the farm going from day to day. As the weather warms up, the numbers of flies simply keep growing. It’s easy to find yourself at your wits’ end trying to deal with these pests.

Luckily, fly control is now big business. There is an enormous range of products on the market for getting rid of flies. This can make choosing the right one for your budget and your specific situation seem like a real puzzle. Despite the bewildering array of choices out there, you’ll have to do something about those flies that keep on bugging you and your animals. Here are just a few of the options out there.

Get Rid of the Manure

Manure attracts flies like moths to a flame. It’s basically a home base for them, which they can use to carry out their obstructive activities. This is also where they breed, so getting rid of any manure lying around is the easiest and most sure-fire way of removing flies from your farm.

Sell any excess manure to gardeners as fertilizer, or use it as fertilizer on your own fields. You may not be able to remove all of it, but you can still keep the manure to a minimum.

Fly Predators

You can make any remaining manure as hostile and unwelcoming to flies as possible. Place a fly predator product in or around your manure piles. This will exterminate flies before they reach maturity. While it’s not effective against adult flies, it will keep them from continuing the life cycle by getting rid of the young ones.

If using fly predators, you’ll need to replenish them regularly. Depending on how large your farm is, you may need to purchase quite a few. This means that the expense of using fly predators can really add up over the long term.

Feedthrough Techniques

Another, possibly better, option for getting rid of flies on your farm is to use a feedthrough technique. There are now products out there containing cyromazine, which you feed to your animals. This makes the manure created after the digestion of this food inhospitable to flies.

These products are often designed to be appetizing to animals by using molasses, for example. This means you should use it quite sparingly or your animals could gain a lot of weight or suffer other health problems.

Another method you could try is to put apple cider vinegar in their drinking water or their food. This will make your animals smell unappetizing to flies, thereby reducing the number of bites they receive. One suggested dosage is to use 1 cup (236 ml) of apple cider vinegar to 50 gallons (189 L) of water.

One possible downside of this method is that not all animals may be willing to drink this mixture. So, you’ll need to carefully monitor their fluid intake to make sure that they’re not becoming dehydrated.


If all else fails, you can still resort to the traditional methods of eliminating flies. These include repellents, sprays, baited traps, sticky traps, flypaper, and so on. These are tried and trusted fly control methods, but they all come with their own drawbacks.

Fly traps are often very expensive and aren’t reusable. Sticky traps and fly paper don’t work nearly as well in environments that are humid and dusty. You must also place them far out of the reach of your livestock, which is not very handy given that the flies in the direct vicinity of your animals are the ones that are causing all the trouble on your farm.

Spray repellents only provide temporary protection against flies and need regular reapplication. This can be inconvenient and the cost can add up over time, especially if you have a large farm with many animals as well as human workers. Spot treatments, like the “Spot On Insecticide” for livestock, maybe a better option since they deliver longer-lasting protection.

Another Method You Can Try

This may sound a little bit old-fashioned, but it can be effective. Fill a Ziploc bag halfway with water and put a penny inside. Hang it from the rafters of your barn to ward off the flies that keep bugging your animals.

It’s unclear why exactly this method is so effective. One theory is that the bags generate light refractions that confuse the flies, disorienting them and sending them elsewhere. Whatever the logic behind it, this peculiar fly control method is one of the cheapest and easiest out there.

It does seem as if its effectiveness is limited to barns, though. For fly control in the fields and other open spaces on your farm, you’ll have to look elsewhere.


All of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages. The best results in controlling flies on your farm will probably come from using a combination of different methods. The particular set of weapons you chose will depend on the climate, your budget, and the size of your farm. But wherever you live, here’s hoping for a fly season that’s inexpensive, tolerable, and over soon.

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