Black flies causing headaches for area farmers - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Black flies causing headaches for area farmers

UA Cooperative Extension Service (Source: UA Cooperative Extension Service) UA Cooperative Extension Service (Source: UA Cooperative Extension Service)
(KAIT/TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) -

A "bumper crop" of black flies have been creating havoc for area livestock farmers, with the pesky creatures killing animals throughout the state. 

According to a report from Talk Business and Politics, blood-sucking black flies, or buffalo gnats have been killing deer and other animals. The flies have seen an uptick due to fluctuating temperatures and heavy rains, especially due to flooding in February and March. 

Grant Beckwith, who works as an extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture in Arkansas County, told Talk Business and Politics that the flies have impacted cattle producers in the county not to mention people who own horses. 

"I've also heard reports that several horses had died and there were some deer lying dead in fields," Beckwith said. "I had one farmer tell me he was met at his carport by a deer who was inside trying to get away from the gnats. The gnats don't like to be under a roof or indoors. Buffalo gnats are a fact of life down here. The running joke is that the buffalo gnats will have you looking forward to mosquito season." 

However, several poultry producers have said they have had success getting rid of the flies by using fans and products with Citronella oil in them.  

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