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Mumme’s – Horn Flies

May 17, 2018

How can you prevent those pesky horn flies from biting and irritating your cattle? Warren Beard, Mumme’s Livestock Production Specialist, is here to tell you.

Can you imagine being bit 120,000 times per day? Might be hard to imagine what this feels like. However, during peak time frames, as many as 4,000 horn flies can call a cow’s hide home. At 30 blood meals per day, that adds up to 120,000 bites per cow.

Not only are these bites irritating your cows, but with production losses for the U.S. cattle industry estimated at up to 1 billion dollars annually, they’re also biting away at your profits. According to Ted Perry, cattle nutritionist with Purina animal nutrition, high horn fly populations can cause blood loss and increased cattle stress or annoyance. Annoyance can cause cattle to use energy to combat flies, change their grazing patterns, and cause cattle to group. Ultimately, it can lead to decreases in milk production causing a reduction in calf-weaning weights.

From ear tags and pour-ons to mineral or feed supplements with fly control, there are a lot of different ways to manage flies, and each solution has a place in the industry. With so many fly control options available, what’s the best way to break the horn fly cycle? The best place to start is by breaking the lifecycle in the manure. One of the most convenient and consistent ways to control horn flies and cattle is giving them a mineral supplement.

It contains an insect growth regulator or IGR. An IGR passes through the animal and into the manure where horn flies lay their eggs. It breaks the horn fly life cycle by preventing pupae from developing into biting adult flies. Using mineral supplements with an IGR can hep reduce expenses, labor, and stress on your cattle that other methods can cause. Cattle don’t need to be rounded up or handled since IGR is consumed by the animal and fly control is spread through its manure as it grazes.

Recently, Purina animal nutrition has modified Altosid concentration in the Wind and Rain products to manage larger-bodied cattle than previous formulas. Previous products were developed with 1,000 pound cows in mind while the newer version treats a more realistic 1,400 pound cow. This higher Altosid concentration will help you manage your herd’s horn fly infestations more efficiently.

Mumme’s Incorporated in Hondo, Pearsall, and Rio Medina can provide you with Wind and Rain loose mineral in 50 lb. bags and molasses mineral products in 225 lb. tubs. Come visit us in Hondo, Pearsall, and Rio Medina for all of your beef cattle production needs.


Wildlife management is a major part of the South Texas farm and ranch scene, and Mumme’s is here for you. We are the largest AntlerMax feed dealer in the United States for Purina Mills, the leader in animal nutrition. We offer a large selection of deer blinds, feeders, and hunting supplies. Shop with us online, or visit us at any of our South Texas locations.

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