CLiK™ EXTRA breaks new ground in the development of blowfly strike prevention

Blowfly strike remains the most significant external parasite challenge impacting the Irish sheep industry. The risk of attack increases during warm, humid conditions.

However, changing climate patterns in the UK and Ireland have meant the blowfly season is becoming harder to predict as to when it starts and finishes.

This fast changing scenario requires an effective management response from farmers. And the good news is that – courtesy of CLiK EXTRA from Elanco – this specific demand can now be met in full.

Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is the most effective form of control, where blowfly strike is concerned, a point endorsed by Co. Meath flock owner, Hugh Doyle.

He said: “Flystrike will almost certainly kill lambs at the height of the summer. On most occasions, the shock associated with the actual treatment of clinical cases will be too much for the young animals affected; this is why flystrike prevention is so important.”

Co. Meath sheep farmer, Hugh Doyle

Recent years have seen the development of pour-on preventative treatments against blowfly attack, culminating with last year’s launch of CLiK EXTRA.

The product contains dicyclanil, an insect growth regulator that works by stopping fly larval development between the first and second larval stages; in other words before the larvae have developed damaging mouthparts.

This effectively breaks the fly lifecycle. Moreover, the concentration of dicyclanil is such that CLiK EXTRA provides 19 weeks protection for treated lambs and ewes.

Fleecebind™ technology

The Fleecebind™ technology ensures the active ingredient in CLiK EXTRA spreads from the tip to the base of the fleece, around the animal and onto new wool growth.

In addition, it binds the formulation strongly in place and sticks to the wool even if applied to a damp fleece. As a result, it provides full fleece protection (it spreads to areas covered by fleece, other areas may not be protected, including the feet).

sheep farming

Ollie Ryan is a director of Tullamore-based Midland Veterinary Ltd, one of Ireland’s leading CLiK EXTRA distributors.

“CLiK EXTRA has broken new ground in delivering season-long protection against flystrike, courtesy of one application,” he explained.

Popular among sheep farmers

Introduced onto the market in 2017, CLiK EXTRA has already found favour with Irish sheep producers. On this, Ollie said: “In the first instance it allows flock owners to apply the pour-on that little bit earlier in the year.

“However, it also acts to provide long control through the season. This is a tremendous insurance policy for farmers, as it means they do not have to be out checking sheep later in the summer,” he added.

Farming in Co. Tipperary, Robert Dempsey runs a mixed sheep, suckler and tillage enterprise. He also agrees with the benefits of using CLiK EXTRA.

He said: “We shear the ewes at the end of May, at which time the lambs are treated for blowfly. We treat all the ewes on the farm at the end of June. Our aim is to start drafting finished lambs for sale before the end of July.

Ollie Ryan (Midland Veterinary Tullamore) and Robert Dempsey with his wife Jane and daughters, Bella and Layla

“Maintaining the highest possible growth rates with the lambs is crucial to the success of the sheep enterprise. The last thing we need – in this regard – is a problem with maggots. Thankfully, this has never been the case over the past number of years.”

Providing confidence

Like many other Irish sheep producers, Robert is very conscious of the fact that last summer’s wet conditions were very conducive to blowfly attack.

“I was extremely happy with the performance that we achieved from CLiK EXTRA last year. Once we get into the late summer period, the cereal harvest takes precedence.

“I don’t need the extra workload of treating and checking lambs for maggots at that time of the year. Effective prevention is the only way of keeping blowfly problems at bay.

“An infestation of maggots will easily kill a growing lamb and severely impact on the body condition of a breeding ewe.”

Where blowfly control is concerned, Hugh Doyle used CLiK™ up to last year, when he switched to CLiK EXTRA.

He said: “The new product represents a very welcome innovation. It allowed me to treat the lambs that little bit earlier in the season.

“The longer acting impact of the product also gave me total peace of mind that the lambs would be totally protected throughout the grazing season,” he added.

“We mark each lamb that is treated on the shoulder. It is crucially important to ensure that the product is applied properly. It’s worth taking the time to ensure this is achieved.

“The last thing I need is a breakdown associated with flystrike during the summer period. There’s just too much else going on at the farm at that time of the year.

“Blowfly remains a serious threat to Irish sheep flocks. Every step must be taken to prevent it from becoming a problem. And it is against this backdrop that CLiK EXTRA has a key role to play; it gives season-long protection of lambs,” he concluded.

Blowfly Outbreak Monitoring Competition

In conjunction with Elanco, AgriLand are running a blowfly outbreak monitoring competition. Simply report a case of blowfly on your farm and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a free jacket! View map and competition