Buffalo fly has become an increasing problem for cattle producers in the north of Australia. The problem is becoming more widespread and producers are now finding the fly in areas as far south as Dubbo in central NSW. Buffalo fly continues to have widespread economic and animal health impact on herds throughout Australia and the effective treatment of them is paramount in controlling the problem.

Buffalo flies are small biting flies that live permanently on host cattle. Adult flies can live for 2-3 weeks and are continuously laying eggs before they die. Female flies can lay up to 360 eggs before they die. Buffalo fly transmit a small parasitic worm that causes sores around the eyes, neck and shoulders of cattle. This creates extreme aggravation to cattle, bringing infection and causing the beast to rapidly lose condition, including weight loss, lower milk production and permanent hide damage.

Cattle infested with buffalo flies are continuously fighting flies instead of grazing. If you have bulls in your herd, suppressed reproductive activity can also occur under heavy fly pressure. Animal welfare is an important consideration as cattle suffer constant irritation, painful bites causing distress; and they graze less while continuously rubbing to relieve irritation.

Insecticidal cattle ear tags are an excellent way to deal with buffalo flies. The tags are made of a moulded PVC impregnated with a slow release contact insecticide. The insecticide commences releasing from the tag when applied to the animal with small volumes being released daily over a 3-4 month period.

Buffalo fly has become an increasing problem for cattle producers in the north of Australia. But the issue is even more widespread with that affecting farms all the way down to Dubbo.   Are you struggling with buffalo flies? We want to know how many farmers are having the same problem - tell us your issue and your location in the comments below.

The active ingredient is then transferred over the animal via their hair follicles assisted by the natural grooming and contact habits within the herd. Due to the small dose released daily, the active ingredient is not absorbed into the meat or milk.

For the best outcome and to avoid resistance, every beast MUST be tagged in the herd with the recommended number of tags: either 1 or 2 tags per beast. Tags must be removed immediately after the efficacy claim period (3-4 months) and always apply tags to the back of the animal’s ears. It is important to always refer to the directions of use supplied with your tags.

Where possible, synchronise tagging with your neighbours using the same tag. Applying at the same time is also highly recommended, as flies are not contained or restricted by fence lines.

There are a number of insecticidal ear tags on the market with a variety of problems they target. Let us explain why they are useful and why they can be used effectively to help manage and avoid buffalo fly resistance as a part of your rotation strategy.

Insecticidal ear tags come in a number of different sizes, strengths and duration of protection. Some only need to be used as one tag per beast, others two. They use different active ingredients and it is the active ingredient that must be looked at when working out what tag is best for your herd.

Ideally, the active ingredient should be rotated annually to avoid buffalo fly resistance.

The Y-Tex range of insecticidal cattle ear tags offer the only 3-way insecticidal chemistry rotation program available today. Buffalo fly resistance to a particular active ingredient is caused by the fly being exposed to a sublethal dose of insecticide and usually occurs if the cattle have been underdosed, if the same active ingredient has been repeatedly used or if the tags have not been removed after the end 3-4 month claim timeline.

There are three major active ingredients used in insecticidal ear tags: pyrethroid, diazinon (organophosphate), and abamectin (macrocyclic lactone). The short life cycle of the buffalo fly allows resistance to build quickly and transfers to succeeding generations. Because of this, we strongly recommend the following tag rotation program be adopted.

The 4-year insecticidal ear tag rotation schedule we recommend to our farmers

Buffalo fly treatment in cattle - Year 1

Y-Tex Aggressor Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag (Abamectin - macrocyclic lactone). Two tags per beast (one tag per each ear) are required and offer 4 months of protection.

Shop the Y-Tex Aggressor Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag now:

Buffalo fly has become an increasing problem for cattle producers in the north of Australia. But the issue is even more widespread with that affecting farms all the way down to Dubbo.

 

Buffalo fly treatment in cattle - Year 2

Rotate to Y-Tex Warrior Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag or Y-Tex OPtimiser Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag (containing diazinon, this product is a highly active organophosphate insecticide). Two tags per beast are required. These insecticidal ear tags offer protection from paralysis tick as well as 4 months of protection from both buffalo fly and cattle tick.

Shop the Y-Tex Warrior Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag now:

Buffalo fly has become an increasing problem for cattle producers in the north of Australia. But the issue is even more widespread with that affecting farms all the way down to Dubbo.

 

Shop the Y-Tex OPtimiser Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag now:

Buffalo fly has become an increasing problem for cattle producers in the north of Australia. But the issue is even more widespread with that affecting farms all the way down to Dubbo.

 

Buffalo fly treatment in cattle - Year 3

Rotate to the Y-Tex PYthon Maxima Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag or the Y-Tex PYthon Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag (containing synergized S-isomer pyrethroid compound for buffalo fly, cattle biting lice and paralysis tick control.). One tag per beast offers protection from buffalo fly for your cattle for up to 4 months.

Shop the Y-Tex PYthon Maxima Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag now:

Buffalo fly has become an increasing problem for cattle producers in the north of Australia. But the issue is even more widespread with that affecting farms all the way down to Dubbo.

 

Shop the Y-Tex PYthon Insecticidal Cattle Ear Tag now:

Buffalo fly has become an increasing problem for cattle producers in the north of Australia. But the issue is even more widespread with that affecting farms all the way down to Dubbo.

 

Buffalo fly treatment in cattle - Year 4

Repeat the cycle.

Interested in superior buffalo fly protection for your cattle? Shop our range of insecticidal cattle ear tags.

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