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A steer standing in a feedlot. Its middle back has a visible bald spot due to lice.

Winter Lice Control

Seeing cattle rubbing hair off due to lice infestations can be extremely frustrating. Not only are the cattle damaging fences and equipment, there also can be performance losses and health issues not to mention that the cattle are simply not as visibly appealing, which can be very important for seedstock producers or feeders selling backgrounded feeders.

A teardrop shaped tan tick with eight legs and brown markings on a white background.

Winter Ticks in South Dakota

Winter ticks, also called moose ticks, are unlike other tick species because they are active during the winter months.

Teardrop shaped tick with a dark brown body and legs and an elongate white patch behind its head.

Ticks Becoming Active in South Dakota

The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.

A brown and black cow standing in a feedlot with flies on its face.

Summer Fly Control in Feedlots

Just as longer days mark the beginning of summer, so does the arrival of increased number of flies in feedlots. Flies are not only are an annoyance, they can reduce performance and worsen heat stress. Successful control strategies start with sanitation.

A holstein dairy cow with several flies on its face.

Fly Population Management on Dairies

Fly control on dairies is an important pest management consideration that impacts the bottom line by affecting overall animal productivity and health.

An orange and black monarch butterfly resting on a purple flower.

Understanding the Critical Role of Broadleaf Pollinator Plants in Pastures

Generally speaking, ‘pollinators’ refers to the suite of plants that produce nectar and pollen (generally flowering broadleaf plants) and the insects and other animals (birds, bats, etc.) that spread the pollen for plant reproduction. In the last several years, the honey bee has been at the center of the pollinator discussion, as their populations have crashed – placing bee keepers and their fruit and nut producing clientele at risk.

grey to brown fly with large eyes and elongated mouthparts

What are Those Gigantic Flies?

As we progress later into the summer, we commonly see an increase in horse fly activity.

group of cattle resting in spring pasture. Courtesy: Krista Lundgren/USFWS

Parasite Control for Cow Calf Operations

Spring is coming and with calving season underway it is important to keep our eyes forward on to the next step in production.

illustration: four flies side-by-side in decreasing size

Fly Control Considerations for Cattle on Pasture

Horn flies, face flies, and stable flies are not just irritants to livestock, but are economically important to producers due to negative impacts on milk production and calf weaning weights

Grassy pasture with a small hill of dirt in the foreground. There is green grass at the base of the mound.

Are Ant Mounds in Pastures Bad?

We often receive reports of large ant mounds in a pastures and rangeland. These mounds are the creation of thatching ants, which are common in South Dakota. Although these mounds are often considered a nuisance, the ants may play an important role as predators of potential pest insects.