8 ways to minimize flies at turkey farms

There are eight key areas in which turkey farmers should concentrate when it comes to minimizing the presence of houseflies, more formally known as musca domestica, in their barns and around their flocks.

Roy Graber Headshot
(Austin Alonzo)
(Austin Alonzo)

There are eight key areas in which turkey farmers should concentrate when it comes to minimizing the presence of houseflies, more formally known as musca domestica, in their barns and around their flocks.

Joel Derington, a board certified entomologist and owner of Pest Medic of Tulsa, Oklahoma, told of those such fly control areas while speaking during The Poultry Federation Poultry Symposium for Production & Processing on April 15.

Derington referred to guidelines from Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which is a sustainable, science-based decision-making process that combines biological, cultural and chemical tools to identify, manage and reduce risk from pests in a way that minimizes overall economic, health and environmental risks.

If you focus on these eight areas for fly control in turkey production, you are essentially following “a checklist on how to be a good grower,” Derington said.

Those eight areas are:

  1. Inspect facilities regularly and remove dead birds that might attract houseflies
  2. Promptly clean up feed spills and manure spills, especially when conditions are wet
  3. Minimize any moisture that may be finding its way to the litter, such as leaking plumbing or rainwater
  4. Regularly inspect for leaking waterers and promptly repair them. Also be sure to clean up wet litter beneath waterers.
  5. Strive to have dry litter. Houseflies can’t reproduce in litter with less than 30% moisture, yet they thrive in areas where there is 60-80% moisture.
  6. Cut and clean out weed-choked drainage ditches. When there is blockage of those ditches, it is a good resource site for flies to harbor.
  7. Keep grass adjacent to turkey houses mowed and trimmed. This will help to minimize fly harborage areas.
  8. Maximize the air flow in turkey houses, not only to inhibit housefly flight, but also to increase the drying of litter.

Derington also emphasized that not only will addressing these issues reduce the amount of flies present, but also hinder their ability to reproduce – which Derington says is naturally very strong.

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