Brand: SUPONA ® Buffalo Fly Insecticide

Company: ZOETIS

FORMULATION: liquid concentrate for spraying and backrubbers.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT(S)Chlorfenvinphos: 20% = 200 g/L

CHEMICAL CLASS of the active ingredient(s): Organophosphate


PARASITES CONTROLLED (spectrum of activity)

RECOMMENDED DOSE & Use instructions

Animal Pest Treatment State Rate Critical Comment
Beef Cattle Buffalo flies (Haematobia irritans exigua) Application by backrubber. Make backrubber available to cattle each day and all day during the buffalo fly season. QLD, WA, NSW, NT only Mix 1 L product per 20 L (= 10000 ppm* = mg/L) of new, non-recycled motor oil or clean mineral oil. Charge backrubber with 20 mL treated, new, non recycled oil or clean mineral oil per animal every three weeks. Do not exceed this rate. Refer to mixing instructions in the product label. NOT TO BE USED ON ANIMALS PRODUCING MILK FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION WHEN TREATMENT IS BY BACKRUBBER
Beef & Dairy Cattle Buffalo flies (Haematobia irritans exigua) Application by overspray. Treatment at intervals of 21 days during the buffalo fly season is recommended (minimum permitted retreatment interval is 10 days) QLD, WA, NSW, NT only Mix 20 mL product per 1 L water (1:50, = 4000 ppm* = mg/L). Apply 50 mL/150 kg liveweight of this dilute mix. Refer to mixing instructions in the product label. Apply as a coarse spray. Adequate coverage with the prescribed application rate is achieved with 4 passages of the spray along the dorsal midline of each animal from the neck to the rump. Protective period may be reduced following substantial rainfall post-treatment.

Read the complete product label carefully and ensure thorough accomplishment of all the use instructions.


  • LD50 (acute oral) in rats: for the a.i. 9.6 to 39 mg/kg
  • LD50 (acute dermal) in rats: for the a.i. 30 - 108 mg/kg
    • Estimated hazard class according to the WHO: Ib, highly hazardous.

Suspected poisoning? Read the article on chlorfenvinphos safety in this site.

Withholding periods (=withdrawal times) in days for meat & milk (country-specific differences may apply: read the product label)

  • Meat: AUS NIL
    Milk for human consumption:
    • BACKRUBBER: AUS DO NOT USE on animals producing milk for human consumption or milk for processing.
  • ESI:
    • BACKRUBBER: 10 days

WARNING !!!: Never use on humanscats or poultry.

Chlorfenvinphos and all organophosphates (e.g. diazinon, ethion, etc.) etc. are highly toxic to birds, fish and aquatic invertebrates.

Organophosphates dips are submitted to strict operator safety precautions and dip wash disposal regulations. Read the product label carefully and ensure strict accomplishment of all safety instructions.

You may be interested in the following articles in this site dealing with the general safety of veterinary products:


Risk of resistance? YES. Resistance to organophosphates has been reported for buffalo flies in Australia and for horn flies (their close relatives) in the USA and elsewhere. But resistance to organophosphates is usually weaker and less widespread than resistance to synthetic pyrethroids.

This means that if this product does not achieve the expected efficacy against the mentioned parasites, it is probably due to incorrect use rather than to a resistance problem. Incorrect use is usually the most frequent cause of product failure.

Alternative chemical classes/active ingredients to prevent resistance of external parasites through product rotation:

These alternative products may not be available in all countries, or may not be available for spraying, or may not be effective against all the concerned parasites.

Learn more about resistance and how it develops.


Are the active ingredients of this product ORIGINAL* or GENERICS**?


*Meaning that they are still patent protected and generics are not yet available
**Meaning that they have lost patent protection and may be acquired from manufacturers of generic active ingredients other than the holder of the original patent.

COUNTRIES where this brand/product is marketed: Australia
GENERIC BRANDS available? YES, but rather few if at all. SUPONA is the original brand with chlorfenvinphos introduced by SHELL (→ CYANAMID → FORT DODGE → ZOETIS) in the 1970s.

Click here to learn more about GENERIC vs. ORIGINAL drugs.

For an overview on the most used antiparasitic spray, dip & dust BRANDS click here.


Chlorfenvinphos is a veteran broad-spectrum organophosphate introduced in the 1950s by SHELL (SUPONA) and CIBA-GEIGY (STELADONE) that has been abundantly used worldwide in agriculture and veterinary insecticides. Chlorfenvinphos is highly effective against flies and ticks, but used as indicated in the label is not effective against ticks.

Usage of chlorfenvinphos in plunge dips and spray races against ticks of cattle was rather popular and abundant in the 1970's-1980s in many countries (e.g. South Africa, Kenya, Latin America) including Australia. In the early 2000s NOVARTIS divested all its organophosphates including chlorfenvinphos for strategic reasons. Nowadays, in many countries sprays and dips for tick control have been vastly replaced by pour-ons (e.g. with fluazuron or with macrocyclic lactones such as doramectinivermectin, moxidectin, etc.) that are much more convenient than sprays and dips, and as effective.

Backrubbers are used mainly against biting flies on cattle and have and inherent weakness: Dosing depends on the behavior of the animals. It is unavoidable that some animals get too much product, and other animals not enough. Besides insufficient protection of some animals, this may cause excessive residues in other animals. For these reasons, self-application devices are no more allowed in many countries (e.g. the EU). And it is generally accepted that underdosing of animals favors resistance development. To learn more about backrubbers for cattle click here.

All organophosphates are veteran pesticides developed in the 1950s-1960s and are basically contact insecticides. This means that when the parasite comes in contact with it (e.g. during the blood meal, after landing on a treated host, etc), the active ingredient that impregnates the host's hair coat penetrates through the cuticle (i.e. the "skin" of insects and other arthropods) into its organism and disturbs essential biological processes in the parasite's body, in this case its nervous system.

After administration to livestock or other animals, organophosphates do not have a systemic mode of action, i.e. they are not transmitted to the parasite through the blood or the host. Topically administered organophosphates are very poorly absorbed through the skin of the hosts, and what is absorbed is quickly broken down and/or excreted. Consequently the concentration reached in the blood is too low to kill blood-sucking parasites.


This article IS NOT A PRODUCT LABEL. It offers complementary information that may be useful to veterinary professionals and users that are not familiar with veterinary antiparasitics. 

Information offered in this article has been extracted from publications issued by manufacturers, government agencies (e.g. EMEA, FDA, USDA, etc.) or in the scientific literature. No guarantee is given on its accuracy, integrity, sufficiency, actuality and opportunity, and any liability is denied. Read the site's DISCLAIMER.

In case of doubt contact the manufacturer or a veterinary professional.