The economic benefits of Buffalo Fly control

Economic benefits of a long term Buffalo Fly control strategy

It is important to properly weigh up the many dollar benefits of successful long-term Buffalo Fly control against the costs of implementing it. 

Infestations of external parasites like Buffalo Fly can have a serious economic impact on your herd's health & value.


What harm can Buffalo Fly cause?


  • Large numbers of flies feeding on an animal cause an increase in the animal's heart, urinary, and respiration rate.
  • Significant loss of weight
  • Decreased milk production
  • Devalued hides
  • General unkempt appearance of infested animals


What methods are available to deal with Buffalo Fly?


  • Sprays and Pour-Ons offer short-term control and therefore any advantages gained during the fly-free period will be temporary.
  • Insecticidal Ear Tags used in a rotation strategy offer the best long-term solution in helping fight insecticide resistance. 


What are the proven economic benefits of a long-term  Buffalo Fly control strategy?


Studies in Australia and overseas on the benefits of long-term control of both the Buffalo Fly (Haematobia irritans exigua) and its close relative the Horn Fly (Haematobia irritans irritans) are as follows;


Breeding rates


Anecdotal evidence suggests that conception rates in breeding cattle may be affected by heavy infestations of Buffalo Fly.

Dollar benefits:Sustained rates of conception and breeding in cattle.


Cattle hides


Lesions caused by the Buffalo Fly transmitted parasite (Stephanofilaria) cause significant damage to cattle hides resulting in devalued returns to cattle producers.

These lesions, which are a potential site for Screwworm infestation, also make cattle destined for export trade unattractive.

Dollar benefits: Cattle presented lesion-free for sale on the domestic market should attract a buyer's premium, due to their cleaner appearance.


Weight Gain Trial Results


Queensland studies indicate that a 17kg liveweight gain on calves is achievable at weaning from treated dams. Two weight gain trials on breeder cows and heifers, treated with Insecticide Cattle Ear Tags, produced an increase in live weight gain of 33kg vrs untreated cattle over the five month trial period.

What are Buffalo Flies?

The blood-sucking Buffalo Fly can cause severe irritation in cattle affecting weight gain, milk production and hide value.

The Y-Tex Insecticidal Ear Tag Strategy

An insecticidal ear tag rotation strategy is important to prevent flies becoming resistant to commonly used insecticides.

What is insecticidal resistance?

Resistance to a particular chemical group is caused by the target pest being exposed to a sub lethal dose of insecticide. Find out how to avoid this.