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30 l 30 Feed-Through Fly Control with IFA ICBM Mineral

30 l 30 Feed-Through Fly Control with IFA ICBM Mineral

There are few things more irritating than driving down the road with a single, small fly buzzing around the cab of your truck. If one little nuisance can disrupt your day, it is no surprise that a swarm of these pests can have a significant impact on your livestock.

Fly infestations can greatly impact production on beef cattle operations. Populations can swell up to 4,000 flies per animal, which translates to a huge economic loss. Without a proactive fly management program in place, diseases and reductions in weight and productivity resulting from flies can take a significant toll on the comfort of animals and an operation’s bottom line.

To help combat cattle flies, IFA animal nutrition experts have designed an effective feed-through program. IFA Intermountain Cattlemen Beef Mineral (ICBM) with Clarifly Larvicide and Altosid IGR help reduce cattle fly populations to improve overall health and productivity in your cattle.

Cattle Fly Math: Cattle Fly Impacts on Production

Cattle flies have a major impact on cattle health and weight gains. Despite their size, these pests can result in significant losses if not properly managed within your herd. 

In North America, horn flies cause an economic loss of nearly $1 billion each year in diminished weight gains. One beef cow with more than 500 horn and stable flies can result in up to 300 blood meals and a 20% drop in milk production. The ultimate economic impact of a cattle fly infestation? 

  • Horn flies can cause 15lbs. to 50lbs. of weight loss per head during the summer season. 
  • At $1.00 per pound, a 30lb. weight loss results in a $30.00 average loss per head.
  • Preventing horn flies is economical and can cost as little as 2 to 3 cents per head per day. 
  • An investment of $4.50 per cow/calf pair for a 180 day feeding season will provide returns from 6:1 up to 10:1.


Feed-Through Cattle Fly Prevention

Feed-throughs are an effective fly control method that helps limit the overall population. These products are ingested by cattle and work by interrupting the life cycle of maturing flies. 

Clarifly Larvicide Fly Control Supplement

IFA’s ICBM Minerals offer multiple formulations including options with ClariFly® Larvicide. The inclusion of this supplement in your IFA mineral helps control fly populations to reduce stress and help your cattle reach their genetic potential. ClariFly® Larvicide goes to work in manure, stopping larval development and decreasing fly populations.


ClariFly® Larvicide is a feed supplement that prevents house flies, stable flies, face flies and horn flies from developing into adults. The active ingredient prevents larvae from developing into pupae. It is not a neurotoxin like an organophosphate or a pyrethroid. ClariFly® Larvicide works as a feed-through, passing through the digestive system and into the manure where flies breed.

Altosid IGR Horn Fly Control Supplement

Altosid® IGR is another fly control supplement available for your ICBM mineral package. The inclusion of this supplement in your IFA mineral helps build season-long horn fly control. Left untreated, a few horn flies can quickly explode to a population of over 4,000 flies per animal. With an economic threshold of diminishing weight gain returns at 200 flies per animal, controlling these populations is essential for proper weight gains and optimal efficiency.


Altosid® IGR is an insect growth regulator (IGR) that passes through the animal and into the manure, where horn flies lay their eggs. It breaks the horn fly life cycle by preventing pupae from developing into biting adult flies. Altosid® IGR eliminates the expense, labor and stress on your cattle associated with other fly control methods. There’s no need to round up or handle cattle because the animals spread the horn fly control as they graze, placing it in the exact location where horn flies are laying eggs.

See more cattle fly control methods and strategies to protect your herd

30 I 30 IFA’s ICBM Fly Control Program

The IFA 30 I 30 ICBM Fly Control Program is designed to help disrupt cattle fly life cycles to reduce fly populations before they can become a problem. 

The 30 | 30 approach ensures the ideal window of treatment, protecting against an unpredictably early or late start to the spring or winter seasons. To help limit the population of overwintering flies that emerge in spring and mark the start of fly season, follow these key steps of the 30 | 30 Program:

Step 1: Stop Fly Production

Begin feeding IFA Minerals with ClariFly® Larvicide or Altosid® IGR 30 days before average daytime temperatures reach 65° F. 

Step 2: Feed at the Appropriate Rate

Follow IFA Mineral ‘How to Feed’ guidelines to ensure the correct amount is consumed.

Step 3: Continue the Process

Continue the process until 30 days after the first frost in the fall.

IFA 30 30 Fly Control

Adding IFA ICBM Minerals to Your Grazing Program

Livestock grazing on summer range and pastures are not only facing off with cattle flies but potential nutrient deficiencies. IFA’s line of ICBM cattle mineral is specifically formulated to provide key vitamins and trace minerals essential for health and productivity in beef cattle. These minerals are designed for free-choice feeding to cattle grazing on intermountain pastures and rangeland to provide nutrients commonly lacking in intermountain forages. 

IFA animal nutrition experts have formulated the ICBM line specifically to match current forage conditions and for optimal palatability to ensure consistent consumption while on pasture. Adding Clarifly Larvicide and Altosid IGR to your ICBM mineral is the total package when it comes to cattle health and production.

Improve livestock production with IFA's ICBM cattle mineral supplement

IFA_Blog_Improving Livestock Production ICBM 1-1

Protect Production with Help From IFA

Preventing production losses due to cattle flies is essential for optimal returns on your calf crop. Stop by your local IFA for standard fly control methods or contact an IFA Feed and Nutrition Expert to develop your own 30 I 30 fly control strategy with IFA ICBM minerals.

Contact an IFA Nutritionist in your area


Information provided by Dennis Christensen, MS, PAS, IFA Feed & Nutrition; Jim Lamb, Ph.D., PAS, IFA Feed & Nutrition  and Jill Singleton, Bagged Feed & Animal Health Category Manager, IFA Feed & Nutrition.