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ARTICLES >> Livestock Articles

Fly baits for Fly control

Posted by Bestprac on Feb 15 2009

By Chelsea Muster (Rural Directions Pty Ltd)

At a recent combined North East Eastern Districts and Yunta Bestprac meeting, members shared how the use of Fly Baits (or Fly Traps) has been successful in helping control fly numbers on their properties.

Members discussed different strategies that are being implemented in the phase out of mulesing, and fly traps are a method of fly control that is cost effective and relatively easy to implement. There are numerous designs possible, and below is a summary of some of the possible methods available. It has been proven that the use of fly traps reduces the number of flies, and hence the incidence rates of fly strike.

LuciLure Sheep Blowfly Attractant (information obtained from QLD DPI)

AWI has invested funds in the development of the LuciLure Sheep Blowfly Attractant. The LuciLure Trap system is a specifically designed trap with a patented blend of chemical to attract and capture the Australia sheep blowfly (Lucilia cuprina). The trap is designed to reduce blow fly numbers and hence reduce the strike rate probability within a flock of sheep.
The LuciLure trap is a translucent bucket made from tough ultra-violet stabilised plastic with a removable lid. There are entrance cones that allow the blowfly to enter the trap, but do not allow the fly to leave the trap. Within each trap is an attractant to attract the flies to the trap.
The traps are generally attached to trees at sheep height off the ground and should be strategically placed around water courses, near dams, tree lines, yards, sheep camps, shearing sheds etc. It is recommended that one trap per 100 sheep are used.
For more information see http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/sheep/8507.html. LuciTraps can be purchased from Bioglobal Ltd, phone 07 3271 6299.
Bait Bins (information obtained from Agnote 2/14, 1990, authored by Jenny Anderson)
Bait bins have been trialed at Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station in NSW. The results showed that sheep blow fly numbers and therefore fly strike was reduced by strategic placement of bait bins around the property.
Bait bins can be made from numerous materials, the most commonly used is a 44 Gallon drum. It is important that the bin is a rigid object, and not made from soft plastic. It has also been suggested that SULO (garbage bins) are used, as they can be easily wheeled in the paddock.
Flies are attracted to yellow. Therefore it is suggested that the bin be painted yellow to increase the attractiveness of the bin.
The bin needs to be able to attract the flies in, but not allow for the flies to escape. A carcass is placed in the bottom of the bin to attract the flies. The diagram below demonstrates a model that diverts the flies into a catchment and therefore the flies die of dehydration.

Bait bin diagram

If using this system, the untreated carcass can become blyflown. Treating the carcass with sodium sulphide (1 litre of 20% technical grade) will help to overcome this problem. The bin may also need to be regularly emptied.
If you reside in NSW, it is legal to treat the carcass with Dipterex (trichlorphon) which kills the flies that enter the bin and any maggots that may arise from eggs laid on the carcass.
It is important that the flies attract and lure Lucilia cuprina but not the green hairy maggot blowfly or brown blowflies. The Green Hairy Maggot blowfly and brown blowflies rarely breed on sheep, but successfully compete with the sheep on the blowfly carcass. Therefore, ensure that woven excluder wire is used over the entry, as this allows smaller blowflies in and keeps the larger blowflies out.
It is suggested that one trap be used for every 1500 breeding ewes. Bait bins should be used towards the end of winter and March/April. When not in use, the holes should be covered to prevent other insects entering and developing immunity. It is good practice to place the bins in yards when sheep are mustered, and should remain in the yards up to 48 hours after the sheep are released. They can also be strategically placed around the property, as with the LuciTrap.
 

Last changed: Feb 16 2012

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