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Home Insecticide Resistance Testing Flies for Resistance to Flystrike Preventative and Treatment Chemicals

Testing Flies for Resistance to Flystrike Preventative and Treatment Chemicals

Do you expect to have fly struck sheep this coming season? If so, NSW DPI, in collaboration with AWI, are seeking your involvement in an important research project to investigate blowfly resistance to the commonly used flystrike chemicals.

Accurately knowing the chemical resistance status of the flies on your property will help you (and your advisor or chemical reseller) make better decisions about the best chemicals for you to use in the prevention and treatment of flystrike in your sheep, saving you time and money.

Testing will be carried out on your maggots to determine if resistance is present to Dicyclanil (e.g. Clik), Cyromazine (e.g. Vetrazin), Ivermectin (e.g. Coopers Blowfly and Lice), Spinosad (e.g. Extinosad) and Imidacloprid (e.g. Avenge + Fly).  This would normally cost you $346 plus postage, but for being involved in this project you will receive the results of these tests FOR FREE. The lead researcher for this Project, Narelle Sales, will also send you an email or give you a call to explain exactly what your results mean.

What should you do right now?

Contact the NSW DPI laboratory to get a maggot collection kit sent to you. This contains further detailed instructions.

Narelle Sales,
Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, NSW DPI
Direct T: 02 4640 6446
E: narelle.sales@dpi.nsw.gov.au

What do you need to do once you find a struck sheep?

  1. If you find a struck sheep, collect at least 60 healthy Lucilia cuprina maggots (before you treat the sheep). These are the smooth, cream maggots—never add brown, hairy or spiky maggots which are a different species and are likely to eat the others (go here for more information on identifying the correct blowfly species).
  2. Put the maggots in the container provided in the maggot collection kit.
  3. Keep them cool after collection.
  4. Complete the submission sheet that is enclosed in the kit, including your recent history of fly and lice treatments.
  5. Maggots will live for 7–10 days this way but remember they will need a few days in the post, so send them promptly in the free Reply Paid padded post-bag.

** If the proper collection kit is not immediately on hand, you can use a fully sealable container (e.g. two plastic vitamin containers) with about 6 needle holes in each lid (no bigger or the maggots escape) and a small handful of completely dry dirt or sand that does not contain any small pebbles.

Identifying and managing resistance

Resistance of flies to preventative and treatment chemicals can be managed to slow the development, especially if caught early—before obvious signs of resistance.

* This page was last updated on 3 November 2022.

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