A survey of annoyance of livestock by Simulium chutteri Lewis along the Orange River, South Africa (Diptera: Simuliidae)

01 Sep 2014

A survey by means of questionnaires was conducted along the Orange River to determine the extent of blackfly annoyance to livestock during 1984-1988. Severe annoyance reached peaks during September-November and increased over the years. Annoyance levels decreased with distance from the river with occasional severe annoyance as far away as 76 km. Annoyance levels increased with distance downstream from the P. K. le Roux dam to Augrabies (750 km). Greater water releases for increased irrigation and electricity generation may be an important reason for the higher annoyance levels. Present day high and increasing irrigation water requirements and the great length of the river probably render control by water level fluctuations impractical. Loss of condition of especially small livestock is the main consequence of annoyance by female blackflies. Decreased percentage lambing and occasional deaths were also reported.