Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Cattle flies and larvae: overview

Contributor(s): Sophie Mahendran , Andrew Forbes


  • Flies are arthropods from the class insect.
  • Flies have 4 stages in their lifecycle: egg -> larva -> pupa -> adult.
    • The larval stage appears worm-like.
  • Flies have several types of mouthparts according to their feeding habits: either piercing and sucking (mosquitoes, stable fly) or piercing and cutting (horsefly) or sponge-like for feeding on skin/membrane surfaces.
  • Control of flies can be difficult in farming situations.
    • Need to try and reduce natural fly habitats.
      • Adequate systems for manure management.
      • Proper water management to ensure good drainage and removal of free-standing surface water.
      • General farm hygiene, including removal of animal wastes, carcasses, spilt feed, organic debris, and household garbage.
  • Use of cypermethrin-impregnated ear tags or pyrethroid pour-ons are the main chemical methods of fly control.
  • Generally, identification of the actual fly species is unnecessary as the control strategies are similar for all.


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Further Reading


Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Fernández de M M, Brugman V A , Hernández-Triana L M, Thorne L et al (2016) Detection of Theileria orientalis in Mosquito Blood Meals in the United Kingdom. Veterinary Parasitology 229, pp 31–36.
  • Angelos J A (2015) Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (Pinkeye). Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 31 (1), pp 61–79 PubMed.
  • Harrup L E, Gubbins S, Barber J, Denison et al (2014) Does Covering of Farm-Associated Culicoides Larval Habitat Reduce Adult Populations in the United Kingdom? Veterinary Parasitology 201 (1), pp 137–45 PubMed.
  • Milnes, Ailsa, Mitchell S & Bell S (2012) Emerging Skin Conditions in Cattle. In Practice 34 (10), pp 588–97.
  • DeRouen S M, Miller J E, Foil L D & Gentry G T (2009) Control of Horn Flies (Haematobia irritans) and Gastrointestinal Parasites and Its Relation with Cow–calf Performance. Veterinary Parasitology 162 (3), pp 320–26 PubMed.
  • Postma, Cintia G, Carfagnini J C & Minatel L (2008) Moraxella bovis Pathogenicity: An Update. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 31 (6), pp 449–58 PubMed.
  • Broce A B (2006) Ectoparasite Control. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 22 (2), pp 463–74 PubMed.
  • Taylor M (2000) Use of Anthelmintics in Cattle. In Practice 22 (6), pp 290–304 PubMed.
  • Tarry D W (1986) Progress in Warble Fly Eradication. Parasitology Today 2 (4), pp 111–16 PubMed.