Farmers need to be vigilant amidst high incidents of blowfly strike

The warm and wet weather of late has led to an increase in the number of blowfly strike cases being reported on Irish farms.

Blowfly is the main external parasite traditionally affecting sheep in the summer months. If left untreated, it can have serious consequences and animals can die within a matter of days.

Rain in recent days has delayed shearing on many farms and, as a result, fly strike is becoming a problem. Therefore, farmers need to remain vigilant for any of its symptoms.

Symptoms of blowfly strike: 
  • Fly strike usually appears as a discoloured and moist area of wool.
  • On closer examination, maggots and a foul-smelling odour is revealed.
  • Affected animals are often restless, dull and reluctant to graze.
  • Affected sheep kick and focus on the stricken area.

What regions are worst affected?

Agriland is delighted to once again team up with Elanco to make it easier for Irish sheep farmers to identify the risks of a blowfly outbreak occurring on their farms.

To make it easier to assess the risks of a blowfly outbreak in and around your county (or to report cases of ‘maggots’ appearing) we have developed an easy-to-use interactive map.

The campaign has already received a great response with numerous farmers throughout Ireland reporting outbreaks.

The highest incidents of blowfly strike have been reported in south Mayo, north Meath and Monaghan. In addition, four cases have also been identified in south-east Galway and Sligo.

Sheep have also been found to be suffering from blowfly strike in the counties of Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin and Louth.

Outbreaks have been identified in most of the western regions of Ireland, as farmers in the counties of Roscommon, Clare, Kerry and Cork have also positively identified incidents of blowfly strike.

A high-risk period

Elanco’s Eugene Smyth advised farmers to remain vigilant for the symptoms of blowfly strike.

“Speaking to farmers in the south-east, there appears to be a growing number of cases of blowfly strike this week,” the Marketing and Strategic Account Manager with Elanco Ireland said.

“The perception out there is that disease pressure is growing and farmers are beginning to think about doing something about it.

“It’s creating a huge amount of discussion at farm level and farmers are beginning to shear their sheep to reduce the problem,” he said.

Report your case to be in with a chance to win an iPad

The outbreak monitoring campaign, targeted right across the 32 counties of Ireland, aims to keep sheep farmers informed of the prevalence of blowfly outbreaks in their local areas.

All farmers who report a case of blowfly strike on their farm will be entered into a draw with a chance of winning an iPad. Report a case of blowfly