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The buffalo fly is a serious pest to cows, this breed of fly has been labelled the most major parasite problem for cows. The buffalo fly was contained to Northern Australia but has now spread across to New South Wales and Queensland, so anyone living in these states this article is especially relevant for you! Continue reading to find out useful information on how to best deal with buffalo flies to ensure your cow is safe for the summer.

The buffalo fly is considered such a dangerous pest to cows as the fly not only irritates the cows but also interrupts feeding and causes life-threatening sores. The buffalo fly will live permanently on a cow, as without a ‘host’ it will die within 2 days. Therefore, it is vital to have some methods in place to ensure that your cow/s do not become infested with the buffalo fly, below we will outline some non-chemical control methods to ensure your cows health and safety.

The first control method is a buffalo fly trap which consists of a rounded clear plastic tent through which the cow/s walk. Once the cow/s walk within the tent the flies are brushed off and then trapped inside the tent. This method has proven to remove around 80% of the buffalo flies each time the cows pass through it. With this method the cows must pass through the trap either everyday or every second day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLv0z1XOdmU 

The second method is called the buffalo tunnel trap, which consists of a short-darkened tunnel through which cows pass regularly. While the cows pass through the tunnel the light levels change which forces the flies to leave the animals and they then become caught in cages attached to the tunnel sides. This trap is simple to build and can reduce fly numbers on cows by 70%. Note that the materials needed for this method can be expensive as you need demountable steel frames with the sides and roof covered with black plywood panels, and a window cut into each side panel with a fly trap cage made from aluminium fly screen over an aluminium frame. These materials can range from $1000 to $1500. For more information on what is required for the buffalo fly traps visit this website: daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/agriculture/animals/dairy/husbandry-techniques/build-a-buffalo-fly-trap 

There are also chemical control options. However, it has been discovered that the buffalo flies are resistant to chemical control options. 

We recommended that prevention is the best method and believe that a combination of either of the buffalo traps is the best way to ensure the welfare of your cow/s.
We hope this information will prove useful to protect your cows! We are so grateful to all our supporters! Please donate here to continue supporting us so we can continue to rescue and help farmed animals across Australia: https://tilthecowscomehome.org/donation/

By Luella Botteon