Concentrated swine production can produce large amounts of accumulated waste that may serve as development sites for pest flies. Filth flies are not only a nuisance but can also interfere with animal growth and production and are capable of mechanically transmitting many pathogens to swine on confinement facilities. In addition to production and health concerns, high populations of filth flies developing on concentrated animal facilities may subject producers to nuisance litigation. While litigation against livestock producers associated with pest filth flies has become more frequent and high profile, information on the filth fly fauna in swine facilities in the United States is limited. In this study, filth fly species diversity and population fluctuations were monitored with spot and sticky cards in one sow facility and two finishing facilities in North Carolina. House flies Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae) were the dominant species followed by black dump flies Hydrotea (Ophyra) aenescens Weidemann (Diptera: Muscidae). A difference was seen in total spots on cards placed in more central barn locations than towards the outer walls in the sow facility but not the finishing facilities. Mean spots at only one of the finishing facilities exceeded the conventional control threshold of 100 spots/week, in May and June. Fly numbers decreased naturally in the following months, suggesting that standard control thresholds may not accurately inform filth fly control efforts in swine production. Due to their complementary nature, both spot and sticky cards placed in representative locations throughout barns are recommended. However, more swine-specific information is needed for optimizing monitoring methods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science
- Infectious Diseases