Control Flies That Bother Sheep In The Summer

Summer means flies around the farm, and it's essential to keep these pests away from your flock of sheep. Here are some tips for controlling summer flies.

by Jana Wilson
PHOTO: alima007/Adobe Stock

As the summer season rolls on,  I hope you are gearing up to protect your flock from those bothersome pests. Flies and other pests can cause various issues for sheep, such as discomfort and potential health risks.  

I know I worry about that, so I did some research to find  helpful tips and tricks to control fly and pest infestations, ensuring a peaceful and healthy summer for your sheep. 

Implement Good Sanitation Practices 

Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is essential in keeping fly populations under control. Flies are attracted to filth and waste, so be sure to regularly clean your sheep’s living area, including their bedding, feeders and watering troughs.

Remove manure promptly, as it serves as a breeding ground for flies. Consider using a manure management system to reduce fly populations and minimize the risk of flystrike. 

Fly Control Products 

Fly control products are an effective way to combat fly infestations. Dust bags and back rubbers can be placed in areas where sheep congregate, such as gateways or near feeders. These devices are filled with a specially formulated insecticide that helps repel flies.

Additionally, pour-on products or sprays can be used directly on the sheep to provide temporary relief from flies. Remember to carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using these products. 

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Fly Traps and Baits 

Setting up fly traps and baits can significantly reduce the number of flies around your sheep. Fly traps, such as sticky ribbons or traps with attractants, are useful for capturing and killing adult flies. For very little money and effort, you can catch a ton of flies in your barn or shelter area!

Hang  these traps in areas where flies are most active. Baits, on the other hand, are designed to attract and kill flies. Follow the instructions provided with the bait product, and ensure it is placed in an area inaccessible to your sheep. 

Flystrike Prevention 

Flystrike is a severe condition caused by flies laying eggs on sheep, resulting in maggot infestation and potential health complications. To prevent flystrike, keep your sheep’s wool clean and dry. Regularly inspect your sheep for signs of flystrike, such as soiled wool or unusual behavior.

If you notice any symptoms, seek veterinary assistance immediately. 


Shearing your sheep in the spring or early summer is crucial in preventing fly infestations. Removing excess wool reduces the chances of flies finding suitable places to lay their eggs. Additionally, a well-ventilated coat helps keep your sheep cool, making them less attractive to flies. 

Nutritional Supplements 

Maintaining your sheep’s overall health and immune system can aid in pest control. Consult with a veterinarian or nutritionist to ensure your sheep are receiving a balanced diet. Appropriate nutritional supplements, such as minerals and vitamins, can boost their immune system and make them less susceptible to pests. 

You can take charge of fly and pest control to safeguard your sheep’s well-being during the summer months. Remember, prevention is key, so implementing good sanitation practices, using fly control products, setting up traps and baits, and being vigilant about flystrike prevention are essential.

Regular shearing and proper nutrition will also contribute to keeping flies and other pests at bay. 

Always stay proactive and monitor your flock closely for any signs of infestation. Should you encounter persistent issues or have concerns, don’t hesitate to look for professional advice from a veterinarian or local agricultural experts. 

By taking these measures, you’ll ensure your sheep can enjoy a peaceful and comfortable summer, free from the annoyance and potential harm caused by flies and other pests.  

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