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ParaBoss News - December 2019 - Feature Articles

The dengue mossie is a city dweller. Source: Wikipedia.
The dengue mossie is a city dweller. Source: Wikipedia.
Blowflies are becoming resistant to preventative treatments
Blowflies are becoming resistant to preventative treatments
 Strong winds create a low risk for fly.
Strong winds create a low risk for fly.

Fast Fact

The city-country divide

Introduction by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

The city-country divide is a favourite of politicians (usually the country types) to gain traction by saying how neglected and ill-understood country folk are by the majority, city-based political mass. Another divide is between viral diseases in city and country areas. Worldwide, malaria is mostly a disease of the rural poor (although this is changing a bit) while chikungunya, zika, dengue and yellow fever prefer the city lights— the reason: differences in the preferred habitat of the vectors. The Anopheles mosquito, the vector of malaria, usually inhabits clean river and pond water and is also happy in bright sunlight. Species of Aedes mosquitos that transmit chikungunya, zika and dengue, by contrast, prefer stagnant water and so may happily breed in water collected in urban settings. Reduce the risk of being bitten by the dengue mossie in tropical Australia. >> Read more.

Feature articles

A fly in the ointment

by the AWI Sheep Blowfly Resistance Management Strategy Working Group

For some producers, there is already a ‘fly in the ointment’, that is, blowflies on their property are resistant to some flystrike preventative products. Resistance is first seen as a reduction in the protection period achieved by the products in a specific chemical group, here is the full list of resistance indicators.

Do you know the best ways to manage flystrike if resistance has already emerged on your property? >> Read more.

Is your WEC provider up to scratch?

by Deb Maxwell and Brown Besier

The results from the recently completed ParaBoss WEC Quality Assurance Program are in, and there were some surprises.

Although the ParaBoss WEC QA Program confirmed that for the majority of the participants the results were well within the accepted limits, a significant number returned WEC results that were too low, too high or too variable. Inaccurate results could mean that worm disease may not be detected, or alternatively, that drenches are given where they are not justified. This is a "must read" if you currently or plan to get worm egg counts done. >> Read more.

Poo 'consistency' is important

Introduction by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

The Bristol stool chart has nothing to do with office furniture. It has all to do with faecal ‘consistency’ and is beloved of the ABC’s health reporter Dr Norman Swan. Check the link to the chart when next you hear Norman’s dulcet Scottish accent urging you to take note of your stools. Of help and interest to the worm-afflicted is Leo Le Jambre's faecal consistency and adjustment system.  Many labs may note faecal consistency, but few adjust for it. As faecal consistency can alter the raw worm egg count by a factor of 3–3.5, it shows why scoury sheep may return a low worm egg count when all the information and intuition suggest they likely have a worm burden. Adjusting for faecal consistency is fundamentally important to the accuracy and value of WECs. Ask your lab to score and adjust for consistency, or do it yourself so you can correct raw counts when the WEC is completed. >> Read more.

The effect of wind on flies

Introduction by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

As the World Fly Fishing Championships kick off in Tasmania it’s timely to consider the effect of wind on flies. It’s been blowing relentlessly for about 6 weeks, and if I were competing in the championships, I would be more concerned with body piercings than catching fish. Lucilia cuprina dislike strong winds. If the wind is above 30 kilometres per hour (km/h), they cease flying; they prefer gentle winds below about 10 km/h. Gentle winds enable flies to disperse more easily across the region (this site gives a useful review). There are also geographic/environmental factors to consider, including proximity to mobs of sheep. The point is that in our neck of the woods, the dry, cool conditions with Patagonian-like winds are creating a low risk for fly. One client rang to ask what preventive to give to see them through 'till early new year. The answer was "Nothing: the season is doing it for us". What about in your patch? >> Read more.

What else could be causing my sheep to rub? 

Introduction by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

Last month I mentioned the parlous existence of itch mite since the introduction of mectins. However, the number of sheep that have not had mectins at some stage is (presumably) very low. So, if you have rubby sheep, and cannot find lice or if you are confident of your biosecurity, what else could it be? This page and this tool should provide most of the answers. It’s vitally important that you keep exotic diseases in your thinking. Scrapie, Aujesky’s disease and sheep scab are just some of the possibilities. How would they get in? Well, many nations are currently asking themselves that question about African swine fever. If there is any doubt, call your vet or the EAD hotline (1800 675888). >> Read more.

Responsive "Boss" sites

WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss are all now "responsive" web sites, meaning you can view them more easily on smaller devices like phones and tablets.
WormBoss was the latest to be upgraded and due to it having numerous pages we have also changed it completely to a "hamburger" menu (i.e. the 3 stacked lines), even on a computer.  Try it out!

Seasonal reminders

First summer drench for southerners. Test or just drench?

Northern ram sales are coming: Buy rams that are resistant to worms and flystrike.

Optimise the timing of your fly treatments.

Check for lice about 6 months after shearing.

For December 2019 state outlooks, please follow the links below:
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