Sheep farmers are being warned to act now and take preventative measures, as high blowfly risk alerts are being sent to farmers across Wales.

Matthew Colston, Elanco ruminant technical consultant, urges farmers in the surrounding area to be vigilant and apply a preventative treatment to protect their flock before strike occurs.

However, the true economic impact of blowfly strike is often underestimated with costs of £209 per lamb, and £184 per breeding ewe, being quoted.

Mr Colston says early preventative treatment has been shown to be the most cost-effective strategy to combat the flock health and economic risks due to blowfly strike.

“We recommend protecting your flock by applying an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) product, such as those in the CLiK™ range,” he explains.

The CLiK range can provide from eight to 19 weeks of protection, depending on the product, with CLiKZIN™ offering a meat withdrawal period of just seven days and CLiK™ and CLiK EXTRA 40 days.

Mr Colston says with correct application, the Fleecebind™ formulation in the CLiK range allows the product to spread and bind to the wool grease to give full fleece protection.

He shares his top tips to get the most out of preventive fly control treatments:

• Apply early in the season – every season is different, so check risk forecasts for a guide as when to treat

• Use a CLiK applicator gun with a fan spray nozzle and carefully calibrate it before use

• Apply to a clean fleece – Clip or dag any dirty animals before application

• Apply the product in a band approximately 10cm wide (holding the gun approximately 45cm from the sheep). Apply the total required dose one quarter at a time, using the four-stroke method

• Take care to overlap each stroke and ensure it is down the centre of the back to allow CLiK’s Fleecebind formulation to evenly spread over the fleece to achieve full protection

Blowfly strike can happen very quickly, with 94% of farmers reported to have been caught out by it.

However, by signing up to Elanco’s Blowfly Watch alerts, farmers will get the heads up on when to apply a preventive treatment before cases occur. Farmers can also report cases of strike on the Elanco Blowfly Tracker to help alert other farmers to local cases. Sign up for Blowfly Watch at –