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Application Techniques for Blowfly Stike

blowfly in sheep application techniques


Blowfly in Sheep - The Importance of Application Techniques

The importance of application techniques and how using the wrong gun or nozzle can have significant effects on product efficacy was highlighted at recent blowfly control training days for staff.


As part of our ongoing training programme and in preparation for this year’s blowfly season, selected Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs) attended a session specifically aimed at blowfly control advice. 

Becca Vallis MRCVS of Molecare Farm Vets, based in South Molton, kicked the training days off with an overview of all the available blowfly products, whilst also discussing the care and attention that is required to understand the significance of small differences between the data sheet recommendations of the different products.

It was interesting to note the regional differences of usage of the three main groups of products; organophosphate (OP) dips, Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) and synthetic pyrethroids (SPs).  

Where contract dippers were still in operation, OP dips were at the forefront of usage, in other areas the IGRs and SPs dominated. 

To break the training up, the days were interspersed with practical demonstrations, the first of which was the application of product on dummy sheep.

It hit home to the SQPs just how important application technique is and how using the wrong gun or wrong nozzle can have significant effects on product efficacy.

Using a T-bar for instance when a fan spray is recommended or not following the recommended application pattern on the sheep were all visually demonstrated. With the IGRs such as Clik and Clikzin the 4 stroke application method was practiced; 2 down the back and one up each hind quarter.

For the SQPs, products such as Crovect and Moleecto, whose activity is limited to only where it has been applied, care was taken to demonstrate the differences in coverage and thus activity between using the T-bar and fan spray nozzles.

It was also emphasised that the earlier IGRs are used, the more cost effective they can be. As they only prevent rather than treat blowfly infection, they should be applied well in advance of the start of the season.

This approach should prevent any large build-up of blowfly numbers through the season.

The final practical session concentrated on applicator gun maintenance and correct usage. No one applicator gun is perfect for all scenarios and it was made clear to the SQPs that certain products have their own specific applicators.

The SQPs learnt how to correctly calibrate a selection of guns.  

Without calibration the SQPs could see the accuracy of dosing was reduced; some guns were under dosing and some were over dosing.

In summary, the aims of the training days were to give the SQPs refresher sessions on the importance of carefully planned blowfly control strategies, incorporating the strengths of all the products on the market and to demonstrate how vitally important correct application is to get the best out of each product. 


Source Details

Mark Riggs Head Vet BVet Med MRCVS 

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