Flies Affect Dairy Farms in Texoma

Flies are swarming around causing an annoyance for Texomans.

Newschannel 6 has learned they are not just frustrating for people, but to cattle as well and the recent increase in flies is a problem for business at dairy farms.

Newschannel 6 crews visited a dairy farm on Tuesday to get a closer look at exactly how flies are affecting dairy farmers and why cows are stressed.

Swarms of flies are everywhere on the Teichman Dairy Farm. Keith tells Newschannel 6 the amount of flies is normal, but says it is unusual to see this many in October.

Keith's cows are still recovering from the summer heat and now having to swat flies left and right is affecting milk production.

It has been a rough summer for the cows on the Teichman Dairy Farm in Scotland.
The heat really  took a toll on their bodies. Any added stress at this point is something Keith Teichman does not want to see for his cows.

Teichman says, "There are more flies right now then normally at this stage of the summer and early fall. It increases the amount of stress on them just like it does people. Flies swarming stresses people out and it is similar with cattle."

Keith Teichman says right now the constant fly swatting is stressing his cows out. Teichman says he is seeing a slight difference daily in the milk production. He says on average his cows will produce 60 to 70 pounds of milk a day and now production is down by one or two pounds. He says the slight decrease can make a difference because it cuts into a dairy farmers profitability.

Teichman comments, "The more comfortable the cow is the higher the milk production will be. Any slight bit of stress is going to lower production a little bit." But Teichman says even though his cows are use to the flies being around it is an added stress he really does not want  his herd to deal with.

Keith Teichman says to help the fly situation he will spray pesticides over the back of his cows and usually after a few sprays the cows are not as bothered. The pesticides do not affect the milk.

Newschannel 6 spoke with an entomologist from the area who says the recent increase in flies is due to the drought. He says all summer maggots have had an abundance of food sources and reproduced, now all that larva is hatching.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6