Costs of Horn Fly (Diptera: Muscidae) Control for Cow-calf Producers in Tennessee and Texas, 2016

J Econ Entomol. 2022 Feb 9;115(1):371-380. doi: 10.1093/jee/toab239.


Tennessee and Texas cow-calf producers were surveyed to assess their 2016 expenses for horn fly control methods. Cattle producers who were members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and Tennessee cattle producers who have participated in the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program participated in the survey. Average horn fly management costs in Tennessee and Texas were $9.50/head and $12.40/head, respectively. An ordinary least squares regression and quantile regression were estimated to examine how horn fly costs are influenced by producer and farm demographics, seasonality of horn flies, producer horn fly perceptions, and management practices. When controlling for these variables, Tennessee and Texas cattle producers did not spend significantly different amounts on horn fly control methods. Horn fly costs were associated with producer and farm demographics, producer perceptions of horn flies, and management practices. For example, results indicate that horn fly management costs vary depending on a producer's level of education and income. Having Angus cattle and larger herd sizes were associated with lower costs per head spent on horn fly management. Producers who did not consider horn flies to be a problem until greater quantities of flies were present on the animal spent 15% less per head on managing horn flies. In terms of horn fly control methods, feedthrough insecticides increased horn fly costs the most, followed by using ear tags. This is the first known research to estimate horn fly management costs among cattle producers.

Keywords: cattle survey; horn fly management costs; quantile regression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases*
  • Female
  • Insect Control / methods
  • Muscidae*
  • Tennessee
  • Texas