Blow Fly Strike


Blowfly strike occurs when living tissue is invaded by the larvae (maggots) of flies. Green bottle flies will invade undamaged skin and are attracted to areas with soiled/wet fleece or wounds. Blue bottle and black bottle flies will only attack areas that are already damaged. Eggs laid by adults will hatch into larvae within 12 hours; this explains the rapid progression of this disease and the subsequent damage.

Larvae feed on skin and faecal material. They also secrete enzymes that break down skin and muscle; this decomposing tissue then attracts more flies.  Ammonia secreted by the maggots and toxins released by damaged tissues are absorbed into the animal’s blood stream, causing illness and death.
Flystrike is a huge welfare and economic issue for farmers and full flock prevention is by far better than having to treat affected individuals. Moreover the larvae are hardy and survive the colder winter temperature and emerge as spring weather approaches.

Preventative treatments should be used to support daily stock checking, noting any behaviour changes that may suggest disease. Products differ in their ability to treat or prevent disease, and how long they last. We currently have a stock of Clik Extra, Crovect and EctoFly pour-ons which work as preventative fly strike medication. Speak to the Severn Edge team today about which treatment will work for you and your flock.

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