With the wet weather last month, coupled with the start of spring’s warmer weather, now is time to be on the front foot for fly control in your sheep. Blowfly strike is considered to be one of the major problems confronting the Australian wool industry, with annual losses to the value of $150 million. Although management practices such as mulesing, crutching and tail-docking have reduced the susceptibility of sheep to breech strike, graziers remain almost totally reliant on insecticides for the control of strike.
Lucilia cuprina (Australian sheep blowfly) is the main initiator of flystrike in Australia. The metallic green/bronze fly is approximately 9mm in length. These flies breed mainly on living sheep and can lay up to 250 eggs in clusters at a time. Protecting your flock from flystrike saves you time, labour, money and most importantly, losses from death. Adopting an integrated approach to sheep blowfly strike is practical, effective and sustainable – crutching, drenching for worm control (to keep breech clean from scouring), grazing management and mulesing and tailing, all play a critical part in control.
This integrated approach is key to keeping fly strike under control. Many fly control products have no need for additional water, with ease of application in a backline formulation. Many products, such as Clik, also carry long protection periods, ensuring your flock is free from issue, allowing you to focus on other jobs.
AgriWest stocks a large range of quality fly control products, so visit their experienced animal health advisors to ensure you are protected for the season to come! Remember, healthy livestock are profitable livestock!