News & Media

Wet winter sets up season for action to mitigate stable fly

Released on

Released on:
Friday, 21. October 2022 - 8:45

Stable fly numbers are set to rise as the weather warms up, prompting a warning for horticulture growers, livestock owners and residents north and south of Perth to take action to minimise the impact of the declared pest.

A wet winter has resulted in perfect conditions for stable flies, which are known for their painful bite to humans and animals – particularly pets, horses and cattle.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is supporting Local Government Authorities to work with landholders to remove stable fly breeding environments and reduce the pest’s population.

The department has been training local government environmental health inspectors in the shires of Gingin, Chittering and Capel, where stable flies can be prevalent.

DPIRD invasive species policy manager Tory Weir called on residents and businesses on the Swan Coastal Plain to take action to reduce the impact of the pest this summer.

“Stable fly management is a shared responsibility and we must all play our role in reducing the risk of this nasty fly,” she said.

“It is important for vegetable growers to bury crop residues and reject produce immediately to prevent breeding sites from being established.

“Livestock producers and horse owners can help by cleaning animal enclosures daily and covering animal feed and bedding waste with a fly-proof cover to keep it completely dry.

“It’s best not to feed waste vegetables to livestock – unless in a trough or box to prevent mixing with the soil and don’t forget to clean up spilt grain promptly.

“These simple measures will help reduce the stable fly population.”

Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 regulations are in place to manage the pest across 14 designated local government areas from Capel to Chittering and west to the areas along the Swan Coastal Plain.

The Stable Fly Management Plan 2019 outlines industry’s obligations under the Act to reduce the risk of the pest breeding, which is available on the department’s website.

Online resources to assist landholders and animal owners to reduce the risk of stable flies, including control measures, surveillance advice and a factsheet, are available on the DPIRD website.

Primary producers and the general public are encouraged to report stable flies agitating horses and livestock or biting humans and pets via DPIRD’s MyPestGuide Reporter app or calling the Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080.

Close up of a fly.
DPIRD has reminded residents and businesses on the Swan Coastal Plain to take action to reduce the risk of stable flies biting humans, pets and livestock this summer.
Dog with flies.
Stable flies can cause a nasty bit to humans and animals alike. Take action now to reduce fly populations.

Media contacts:

Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison                        

+61 (0)8 9368 3937