As part of Parasite Watch, farmers involved in the scheme will be using fly traps to monitor fly populations on the farm.
“Fly traps will give an indication of the fly challenge,” explains vet Dr Dave Armstrong from Zoetis.
“As soon as you start seeing flies in the trap, then you know they are going to be bothering stock and you may want to take appropriate action.”
Fly traps are available to buy or farmers can simply make their own.
How to make a fly trap
- Take a two-litre plastic bottle and cut the top third of the bottle off
- Make some small holes in the end of the plastic bottle in order to allow rain water to escape
- Invert the top of the bottle into the remainder of the two-litre bottle and seal it with clips/paper clamps to fasten it in place
- Place the bait, which can be made up of dog food or an offal based product, into the bottom of the bottle
- Hang the bottle on a fence or gate post by fixing string to the paper clamps attached to the bottle.
How to use Parasite Watch
The aim of Parasite Watch is to show what is happening across the UK using an interactive map found at www.parasitewatch.co.uk. Parasite data from each of the farms will be updated regularly, which will allow farmers to see if there are spikes in certain parasites throughout the year in their area and enable them to take appropriate action.
To use the map, click on a farm in your area and details of any parasites that have been found as well as when they were detected will be displayed. Test results will be online within hours of the test being taken.