Fly proof net shed for livestock: A novel concept of physical barrier for integrated management of Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)

  • Narladkar B
  • Shivpuje P
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Aim: An age old and time tested technique of mosquito net requiring no energy, used by humans since prehistoric period was the inspiration behind this novel technique of fly proof net shed for livestock. With the aim to develop similar type of net shed for animals, which will protect them at night from biting of range of insects from Culicoides midges to mosquitoes, research was undertaken. Materials and Methods: Net shed with pitch roof (gable type) was erected for use of livestock. The open inlet area was covered with 40 mesh size wire net. The roof at attic level was fitted with hurricane type of ventilator. Shed was used for animals at night hours only. vane anemometer was used for estimation of temperature and wind related parameters. Thermal humidity index (THI) and air changes were calculated as per the standard formulas. Based on these parameters suitability of shed was judged. Results: It was observed that, due to netting of the shed population of Culicoides and other flies and incidences of their bites at night hours were considerably lowered. As a result, animals were found comfortable, and their body movements undertaken for wiping off these flies were significantly reduced from 196.50 to 22.16. All it accrued to increased milk yield to the tune of 18.97% in the net shed buffaloes as against control shed. Studies on suitability and comfort to animals were tested by estimating THI and air changes per hour in the net shed, which also revealed the estimates in comfortable regimen and ventilation, remained not much affected despite of netting. Other parameters studied for testing its more accuracy by taking other species of animals as kids, for them also, shed was found suitable through estimation of various physiological and behavioral parameters. Finally, the efficacy of shed was judged on the basis of cost effectiveness. Highly encouraging results on the above said parameters endorsed the effectiveness of the technique. Conclusion: A net shed with pitch roof (gable type) fitted with hurricane type ventilator at its top serves the purpose of a physical barrier to minimize host-pest contact. Observations recorded in the experiment are sound enough to conclude and to recommend the use of net shed for livestock.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Culicoides spp.
  • Fly proof net shed
  • Integrated pest management
  • Livestock
  • Physical barrier

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  • B. W. Narladkar

  • P. R. Shivpuje

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