Stable fly warning for Swan Coastal Plains

Stable flies on the lower leg of a horse.
Stable flies on the lower leg of a horse.

HORTICULTURE producers and livestock owners in the Swan Coastal Plains are urged to act now to avoid the build up of stable fly numbers during summer.

Stable flies are a pest for livestock, especially horses and cattle, and breed in decaying vegetable matter, manure, poor composts or rotting hay.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development project manager Don Telfer said the stable fly was a pest under the Biosecurity and Management Act 2007 and regulations were in place in Cockburn, Kwinana, Rockingham, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Armadale, Gingin, Chittering, Joondalup, Swan, Wanneroo, Harvey, Capel, Kalamunda and Murray to manage them.

“Research by the department into the mitigation of stable fly has led to new control recommendations,” he said.

“In susceptible horticulture production sites, once harvest is complete, residues should be buried by use of a mouldboard plough or hoe, then the soil surface should be compacted by a roller at greater than five tonnes per square metre compaction.

“Alternatively, the site can be rotary hoed five times in five days to completely shred residues.”

Visit agric.wa.gov.au for more information.