We have been seeing a steep rise in the number of flystrike cases over the past week.
Green, blue and blackbottle flies are very quick to attack and deposit eggs on fleece and hair. Wet, scour-stained fleeces/fur is particularly attractive, as well as wounds or cuts, but these flies are not picky and can attack any farm animals. Sheep, alpacas, llamas and goats are particularly prone to damaging infestations, and initial stages of infestations can be hard to see. Eggs can hatch in as little as 12 hours, so it is not long before an animal can be covered in maggots, which can cause deep skin and muscle damage, all the while releasing toxins that can very easily kill an animal.
Image courtesy of Dr Philip Scott and NADIS
We recommend that you check animals at least daily, and take note of any that may have ‘wet patches’ on fleece/hair, or that appear dirtier than normal. Fly-struck animals may be quieter than usual, and may take themselves away from the flock or herd.
We also strongly suggest that you speak to your vet about fly protection NOW to give your animals the best chance of fending off these persistent and voracious pests!
Photos to show how quickly fly strike can spread: