Stable Fly Action Group (SFAG)
All About SFAG
Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) is a declared pest under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, and has become a problematic flying pest in Western Australia - recently becoming more of an aggravated burden in regions close to the coastal plain - found both north and south of Perth.
Stomoxys calcitrans can and will attack humans, domestic pets and livestock, aiming to draw blood which is imperative to complete its life cycle. Stable flies generally are found in larger numbers from late spring through to late autumn.
An action group - known as the Stable Fly Action Group was formed in Western Australia, in 2005 (from a previous local group formed in the 1990’s) to combat the pervasive pest which at that time was seen mainly as an issue in the shire of GinGin.
The SFAG now represents members from the 12 LGA’s declared as affected by stable flies under the WA BAM Act.
The primary objective of the SFAG is to develop strategies to eliminate the stable (biting) fly (stomoxys calcitrans) problem through:
1. Lobbying government groups and key stakeholders. ie. Government appointed action groups & organisations, Biosecurity & Agricultural Management (BAM) Act 2007.
2. Public education and publicity on the issue.
3. Collaboration with LGA’s and Primary producer groups,
4. Research & monitoring of current and ongoing infestations.
5. Ongoing community consultation.
The stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans), is often also sometimes referred to as the “biting fly”, "biting house fly" or “dog fly”.
This species of fly has been in Australia for over 100 years and is a synanthropic pest (meaning; associated with human activities) and although mainly bites horses and cattle, it also will attempt to feed on humans, dogs and pigs in order to obtain blood.
Stable flies are tricky to distinguish from house flies, but the main difference is that stable flies have a bayonet like mouthpart (proboscis) protruding from the front of the head.
The SFAG has developed a new SFAG Data Collection and Reporting System to collect information on Stable fly infestation, behavior and location to alert the local authorities. This is a vital step in making sure that the issues at hand with this invasive species can be managed appropriately.
“What you cannot measure, you cannot manage.”
For more information relating to the recognition, response, prevention and ongoing management of the stable fly issue in Western Australia, you can have a look at the SFAG social media prescence.