Key points on tick control

30 October 2017

The blood parasite of cattle, Theileria orientalis, is now widespread over the North Island with some cases also identified in the South Island.

Animals under stress are most at risk from infection, particularly dairy cows at calving and young beef calves.

Given the importance of ticks as a carrier of this disease, spring is a critical time to consider the best management of ticks on your farm.

Ticks are impossible to completely eliminate so the aim is to control them and therefore reduce the risk of T.orientalis transmission and clinical theileriosis.

It’s important to consider the right timing for tick control, based on the tick life cycle.

Optimal timing of tickicide treatments can reduce the potential numbers in the environment and the severity of the challenge overall. Key treatment times focus on the reduction in tick numbers based on the life cycle of the tick.

Tickicide application in autumn will reduce tick larvae numbers over wintering and further applications in spring to kill nymphs and reduce adult tick numbers.

Bayticol Pour-on Tickicide controls all three stages of the tick life cycle by providing persistent activity for three to six weeks with total body coverage.

Control of ticks is not affected by rain falling within a few hours of treatment, however, the best results are achieved when it’s carefully applied in ideal conditions. The nil meat and milk withholding periods allow for treatment flexibility with wide safety margins in both cattle and deer.

Other management practices for controlling ticks include pasture control which is vital for making the environment less ‘tick friendly.’ Strategically topping pasture and grazing other species that are not susceptible to Theileriosis (e.g. Seraphos treated sheep) can also help.

Each treatment regime will differ from farm to farm and needs to be managed accordingly.

Using a tickicide is just part of successful vector management. Awareness, observation and understanding of the tick life cycle are just as important.

Knowing what is happening on your farm will help make for better management decisions to decrease tick populations.

Don’t wait until ticks are visible on stock. These adults have resulted from not targeting the opportune times in the lifecycle where tickicide impact would have been the greatest.

For more information on Bayticol talk to your local Fonterra Farm Source TSR or visit your Farm Source store.

Article supplied by Bayer

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