Speck Card Use in Egg Layers

Fly Speck Monitoring Standard Operating Procedure

For Poultry Egg Layer Operations


SOP No.:  20-12

Title:  Monitoring House Fly Populations Using Fly Speck Cards

Date:  January 1, 2008


Maxcy P. Nolan, III, Ph.D., Robert A. White, Jr., Ph.D., and Alvaro Villaveces

NIPCAM, P.O. Box 28, Watkinsville, GA 30677; 706-769-9824; FAX 706-769-0096.

Objective:  To specify the activities required for the proper use of fly speck cards as monitoring devices in the control of house flies.

Materials:  Fly Speck Cards

FormsFly Speck Monitoring Sheet Form 130-1


Fly Speck Card Procedure


1.     Prepare fly speck monitoring cards by placing the following information on one half of 3 inch x 5 inchMusca.domestica.from.below index cards:

a.     Date

b.     Name of Farm

c.     House Number

d.     Location of fly speck card (cards should be placed at 100 foot intervals down the center aisle of the house – they will be labeled as 100 ft, 200 ft, 300 ft, etc. from the walkway end)

The remaining one-half of the face of the card (an area 2.5” x 3”) is to be marked off as the area to be counted.  NIPCAM can supply fly speck cards if so desired.

2.     Cards are to be hung about head height above the floor of the center aisle of caged layer houses.  They should be suspended from the overhead supports on strings or wires at 100 foot intervals.

3.     Cards should be removed, counted and replaced with fresh cards at seven day (1 week) intervals).  For counting, the number of fly fecal marks (called fly specks, appearing as little brown spots) in the counting section of the card should be tallied for each card separately.  Only this face area of the card is to be counted.  When Bayer PBU or NIPCAM cards are used, the four small counting areas are totaled. 

4.     Each week the fly speck counts should be written down on form 130-1 so that the historical trends in housefly levels can be monitored.  This is critical because of two reasons - (1) The cards keep track of fly levels that can be used to establish that an active fly control program is in place, and (2) the cards provide the egg layer with weekly fly level numbers that determine when control measures are necessary.  An average count of 50 specks per card per week is typically considered a recommended threshold for initiating housefly control measures such as fogging with pyrethrins.

5.     The cards should be kept in a box, folder or notebook once they have been counted.


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