Springtime is more than just putting away winter clothing and cleaning the house – it’s a time to make sure your production animal facility is running in top shape to set yourself up for a productive summer. Check your to-do list for these insect management reminders to ensure pests don’t derail you in the heat of summer.
· Lice Control: Year-round control with topical insecticides can give advantage to the producer by keeping ectoparasites like lice and flies below an economic injury level. Additionally, the use of pyrethrin-based insecticides during the spring and summer fly season seems to eliminate one or more lice treatments in the winter.
· IGRs – Applying insect growth regulators early in the year can help to control insect populations when the weather warms up. Less larvae means eventually less adults, so work IGRs into your treatment protocol early in the season.
· IPM: Check water sources around your facility and perform any needed maintenance. A cold winter can mean leaking water pipes, but repair to any unnecessary water sources will reduce the moist areas required for insect development.
· IPM: Clear brush and keep grass mowed to control fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Thick groundcover keeps moisture from evaporating and creates a hospitable environment for fleas and ticks. Fallen trees and limbs can hold water and exacerbate mosquito problems.