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Flock Health
Blowfly strike in sheep
  1. Peter Bates and
  2. Emily Hunter
  1. Veterinary Medical Entomology Consultancy, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8DR
  2. School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Daphne Jackson Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7AL
  1. email: pgj.bates{at}ntlworld.com

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Flock owners should be made aware that sheep blowfly strike can still occur despite the absence of rainfall

Flock owners should be made aware that sheep blowfly strike (ovine cutaneous myiasis) can still occur despite the absence of rainfall.

Blowfly eggs are deposited on the sheep’s fleece and optimal fleece temperatures and humidity are vital for their incubation and hatching. On hatching, the small first-stage (L1) larvae of the sheep blowfly (Lucilia sericata) is easily dehydrated. This stage is considered to be the most vulnerable in the fly’s lifecycle.1 On hatching, L1 Lucilia species larvae require a fleece humidity greater than 70 per cent for 14 hours in order to survive and migrate to the skin, where they …

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