Pest control for livestock housing

Pest Management Solutions For Livestock Housing

Existing and emerging pest control problems result in a downfall of product quality for farmers all across South Africa.  In order to protect their land without destroying the environment, farmers are in dire need of innovative pest management solutions and agricultural products.

Majority of the focus often lies on protecting crops in the field, and so sometimes farmers forget about the importance of pest control in livestock housing areas. It is vital for pest control management to protect livestock too, as unwelcome critters put livestock’s health at risk.

In order to keep your livestock in optimal health conditions, you have to assure that their housing is free from rats, mice and disease-borne insects. Keeping livestock housing in tip-top hygienic conditions alone will not assure protection against these pests; especially with the change of weather conditions.

Here are three important things to keep in mind when starting your pest control maintenance:

  • Make sure that the insecticide you choose has been approved for food processing areas, to make sure that your pest control attempts are not destroying other food chains on your farm. Contact professionals to find out exactly what insects are infesting your livestock housing, so that you can be sure to choose the right product. Alternatively, choose a product that is effective for a variety of insects, then cover as much ground as you can with it. 
  • To minimise labour during pest control, implement biological control too. The presence of dung beetles, for instance, can aid in the destruction of manure piles and minimise the presence of flies in stables.
  • Implement good bait management control for rats and mice, especially focusing on having sufficient and accurate baiting points. If you have the right baiting points, you will kill more rodents at once. Having effective baiting points will also minimise the risk of farm animals ingesting rodenticides.

Flies can carry life threatening diseases and so it is important for farmers to know the basic facts about flies, especially since they are so common among livestock:

  • Flies are attracted by movement more than by colour
  • Flies have a smelling distance of over 700 metres
  • Flies have a feeding range limited to approximately 3 kilometres
  • Flies have a peak feeding time in early mornings and late afternoons
  • Flies can produce a family generation in less than two weeks in warm weather
  • A full dustbin can be the breeding ground for +- 30 000 flies
  • Stable fly bites can cause cattle to consume and convert less feed into body mass

Make sure you find the right products on a South African farming directory to protect your cattle and other livestock from rats, mice and flying/crawling insects.

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