Summer flies are a nuisance – both for cattle and for people.
In the past we have always had fairly good fly control in our cattle by spraying them every morning with a permethrin based insecticide spray.
This year we decided to try ear tags instead.
Insecticide ear tags are usually applied in pairs to cattle at the beginning of fly season. The ear tags are attached to either a collar or placed in both ears.
This past weekend we put ear tags on some of our older cattle.
We also tested the ear tags for effectiveness.
We placed two ear tags on a young Kerry heifer’s collar and left the tags off another Kerry heifer to see how much difference there would be.
So far both my husband and I have been unimpressed.
There doesn’t appear to be any difference between the heifer wearing an ear tag compared to one who isn’t.
I’m just guessing, but I wonder if horn and face flies are becoming resistant to the insecticide that is impregnated in the ear tags?
If anything, the heifer with the fly tags in the above photo seems to be more troubled by face flies.
For now we’re going to keep spraying every morning and forget about ear tags for fly control.