Sheep farmers nationwide are reporting the first incidences of blowfly strike in their regions, warning other farmers that the parasite season is now threatening flocks across the UK.
The reports have been plotted into a new “Strike Tracker” map, produced by Novartis Animal Health, which shows the areas where strike has currently been reported.
The first case of blowfly strike in 2014 was reported on March 7 near Milton Keynes
, but since then dozens more cases have been reported, due to the recent warm, humid conditions.
Overwintered blowfly larvae will begin to develop in the soil as temperatures rise above 9°C, and can mature very quickly; when temperature’s reach this level, the start of the strike season will not be far behind.
In the UK, blowfly strike occurs on more than 80% of sheep farms, so it is hoped the map – which provides farmers with a regional update of outbreaks, and was last updated on May 23 – will help sheep producers better target treatment timing.