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Biology and control of flies in poultry facilities

Kelly M. Loftin, John D. Hopkins, C. Dayton Steelman



Arkansas currently ranks second in the nation for broiler production, second for broiler chick hatch, third for turkey production, seventh for eggtype chick hatch and eighth for egg production, based on statistics published in 2001 by USDA-NASS.


Total annual poultry production is a US$2.5 billion industry in Arkansas and is the single largest generator of farm income. While playing a vital role in the economy of Arkansas, high density, confined housing systems used in poultry operations may greatly increase fly problems, due to the large volumes of waste material produced. Fly populations, if not properly managed, can result in a public health nuisance around the poultry operation and neighboring rural non-farm communities. This can often lead to poor community relations and potential litigation. The primary flies encountered are the housefly, black garbage fly and little housefly. Generally, these flies remain relatively close to the original breeding source (location of egg, larvae and pupae). However, the housefly is known to disperse for over 25 miles, the black garbage fly for 4 to 5 miles and the little housefly for 1 to 2 miles.


The filth flies associated with poultry production are of greatest significance because they carry organisms that cause disease in poultry and humans. They are known to carry organisms associated with food poisoning in humans, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Listeria, as well as pathogens that cause disease in poultry (Exotic Newcastle Disease, E.coli and Caronavirus).


The article will cover the housefly, little housefly, blowfly, and dump fly. The article will also suggest more than 10 methods to manage the flies in poultry facilities.


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Article made possible through the contribution of University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

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