Lime for fly control

Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:18 pm

Last summer we had a particularly bad fly infestation and our livestock suffered greatly. I heard dusting their straw bedding with lime would do the trick.

Has anyone tried this?

Re: Lime for fly control

Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:55 pm

KYMike wrote:Last summer we had a particularly bad fly infestation and our livestock suffered greatly. I heard dusting their straw bedding with lime would do the trick.

Has anyone tried this?


We used a lot of hydrated lime around the dairy cattle over 60 years ago for fly control. We never used raw lime (quicklime) but I think it would work even better if you can get it.

Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:03 pm


Your best bet is to keep the breeding sites at a low level. Best way to do this is to remove the bedding pack regularly, weekly would be nice. The added benefit is that a little bedding, manure, and moisture will reduce heat production during the summer weather. Heat production is one of the benefits of a manure/bedding pack in winter.

As for the lime, it is very alkaline and not an environment conducive to developing flies. However, if to much is present, it can cause skin irritation when some species lay in it. Another consideration is the soil pH, if excessive amounts are present in the manure/bedding pack applied to the soil.

Best, cheapest, and achievable control is attained by removing the fly breeding sites. Regularly keep the bedded area clean and dry to minimize fly breeding sites.

Hope this helps.


Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:25 pm

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Maybe a lot of bedding care and a little lime would make a big difference. I will try it.

Thanks again!

Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:26 pm

Mike, I don't know how large an area you have. We have found that for our horse stalls, fly tape works great. This is 1/2" wide sticky tape on a 1000 ft. spool. It zigzags back and forth near the ceiling, and as the tape becomes coated with flies, you wind it onto an empty spool, and new tape comes out. It is also important to pile your manure as far away as possible so the flies hatching on the pile don't return to where the animals are.


Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:44 am

We have four dairy goat (LaMancha) pens and they do fill up with alfalfa if we don't stay on it. I think that may be the main reason. We do use fly strips but they fill up in no time.


Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:04 am

Take a milk jug, cut it open towards the top, leaving the handle. Make a mixture of sugar and water. fill about half way up. Hang em where you no want flys. Bout a week later dump and repeat. Thats what we did in the cow shed. That way you aint replacing tape everyday. We also did this by our fruit trees to keep down the number of insects. :D


Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:39 pm

We use a mixture of vinegar,sugar and water. This works for a lot of insects not sure about stable flys.

1 cup sugar, 1 cup vinegar mixed in a quart jar. fill the remainder of the jar with water. we use this solution for our fruit trees in the spring to help with insect control. you will be amazed at what gets in there.

fly control

Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:06 pm

I tried some of those fly traps with the "sugar water" and didnt catch a fly. The flies your probally talking about are the same kind we have/had. I believe there a type of a bloodfly, they bite like hell. They make a rub concentrate thats sold at farm stores and also a spray that will kill the flies. We do not like to use chemicals so we get a shipment of wasp larvae about every 2 and a half weeks. I'll have to ask my dad where there from and what type of wasps they are. They're about the size of a fruit fly when they hatch and they eat the fly larvae. They must only last a couple of weeks because thats when they send more. They come as a larvae and you dump them in turds and nooks and crannies to hatch once you see them starting to hatch. Dont know how you feel about using chemicals but this would be a natural alternative. We get flies and we have what I would consider a very clean and dry pasture. Now the lime I use in the chicken coops. I only clean the litter about 2 or 3 times a year with excellent results. There is hardly any foul smell. But should there be a little amonia smell dust litter with lime every few days. Also helps make the litter better for compost pile/fertilizer. I believe they used to sprinkle lime on dead bodies during the civil war to help in docomposition, maybe it will help with flies...?

Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:58 pm

Speaking of lime for fly control and smell, brought back memories of the outhouse my grandpap had. Always used lots of lime and were'nt hardly any flies around and smell was minimul. Now wasps were a different story, I think they liked the corn cobs. Dave

Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:25 pm

Hi KY Mike,just started over here today,saw your post. When I was growing up we would clean the stalls first then put down the lime then put down the straw bedding. The lime draws the moisture & kills any problem eggs so it stops the cycle. It also deoderizes to keep down the smell.

Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:45 am

Welcome jwal10