In a WATT Poultry Chat, Anna Hansen, technical service support specialist with MGK, discusses how by targeting flies early on they can be stopped from maturing and reproducing, bringing populations under control and resulting in a reduced need for insecticide applications.
Mark Clements: Perhaps you could tell us about the recent label expansion for your NyGuard IGR product and how it can now be used for poultry, and perhaps you could also tell us why this is important for poultry producers.
Anna Hansen: It's important because fly populations can get out of control very quickly if there are no control measures in place, and poultry producers are pretty limited in the chemical classes that they can use for insect control.
This new use pattern for NyGuard IGR brings a new mode of action for poultry producers to use while a flock is present.
Insects can develop resistance to an insecticide if they're continually exposed to it, meaning that a product won't work as well as it once did.
Because of that, product rotation to incorporate multiple modes of action is really important to help combat resistance. NyGuard is currently the only IGR that's labeled for use over poultry and it's a way to be proactive in your fly control treatments.
Pyriproxyfen, the active ingredient in NyGuard, is an insecticide that has a broad list of target pests, it provides good residual, and it has impacts on all the life stages of house flies, allowing you to go after that entire population. Growers that have birds with long grow out periods really need fly control products that can be used while a flock is present. NyGuard is a great new option bringing an IGR to your control options.
Mark Clements: So you mentioned IGR, what exactly is an IGR?
Anna Hansen: That's a question I get a lot. Insect growth regulators, or IGRs, are insecticides that interfere with insect growth and development. When targeting pests like house flies, we usually just think about killing adults, but consider that over 80% of a fly population is actually in the immature stage, not flying around disturbing the animals.
When you incorporate an IGR that allows you to target a significant portion of the fly population that you weren't able to before — that immature stage. There are a number of IGRs that are out there, but just for the sake of time, let's concentrate on pyriproxyfen, the active ingredient in NyGuard.
Pyriproxyfen mimics a hormone specific to just insects that plays an important role in insect growth. When you apply NyGuard, you're effectively applying the Peter Pan effect — that insect never grows up.
I'm sure you can imagine that that process is way more complicated than what I just said. If you are especially curious and you want to know more about how pyriproxyfen works, any one of us on the tech services team at MGK is more than willing to talk your ear off. But simply put for today, flies will get stuck in that immature stage, and they won't develop correctly into an adult fly.
From a grower’s perspective, that's just fine. Immature flies aren't going around making more flies. They're not bothering the workers and they're not vectoring pathogens to the animals.
Mark Clements: So what should producers expect to see when they start using NyGuard?
Anna Hansen: Keep in mind that NyGuard is a proactive approach, because you're going after that next generation of insects, you're playing the long game when you use an IGR.
Ideally, you want to apply NyGuard early on in the fly season to help keep that population explosion at bay.
When used alone, IGRs are not going to be the fastest actives out there. We usually recommend combining an IGR with a faster acting adulticide to achieve noticeable effects more quickly. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks before you evaluate how your treatments are going. And you can do that by monitoring fly activity.
By supplementing your regular fly control methods with NyGuard, you should see a reduction in flies over time. And note that I say reduction not elimination. Flies are one of those realities of animal production. A reasonable expectation for your fly management program is to control the population not eliminate it. The overall objective with using NyGuard is to reduce the number of insecticide applications needed over time, which lessens the burden on your labor force and saves you in material costs.