< Back to Newsletters

Australia's resource for control of worms, flies and lice in sheep,
and worms in goats

From the Editor

Early spring was dominated by high temperatures with a return to more usual levels later in the month. Good rains fell over much of the coastal and subcoastal temperate regions while the pastoral zones remained very dry.

While not all worms ‘disappear’ when temperatures drop, neither do all worms disappear when conditions become dry. The difference between worms is how they wait out the dry times. For instance, Haemonchus (barber’s pole worm) eggs and larvae are not at all dry-tolerant, so the adults find a quiet spot inside the sheep. When areas of green pick around leaky watering points encourage sheep activity, these adults respond by producing spectacular numbers of eggs resulting in hotspots of infection in an otherwise dry landscape. In contrast, the scour worms such as Trichostrongylus spp (scour worms) and Teladorsagia (small brown stomach worm) find the drier conditions not quite so taxing and the relatively few eggs produced wait stoically on pasture for rain before continuing on.

In the State Outlooks this month, conversation is all about the weaners, fresh low worm-risk paddocks and efficient drenches.

Maxine Murphy





Feature articles

Reduced efficacy of new drenches? Be alert, not alarmed

By Stephen Love, Veterinarian / Research Officer (Parasitology), NSW DPI

Recently there have been a small number of confirmed reports of reduced efficacy, including resistance, involving new sheep drenches in Australia. What should sheep producers do? >> Read more.

Barber’s pole worm in winter, non-seasonal and Mediterranean rainfall areas

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Operations Manager

Barber’s pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) occurs in all sheep production areas of Australia, even in arid areas. With the introduction of the Barbervax® vaccine it is timely to clarify the areas of Australia in which it is recommended for use and how to manage barber's pole worm where it is sporadic. >> Read more.

Lamb's tails; how long is long enough?

from the FlyBoss web site

Docking the tail to the correct length at lamb marking time is crucial in minimising stain around the breech and reducing flystrike risk throughout the sheep’s life. >> Read more.

Stripping, topping up and all the other jargon

from the LiceBoss web site

If you sometimes struggle with the jargon on lice product labels, you're not the only one. See our product label terminology page to make sense of those terms. >> Read more.

The quick quiz

This 3-question quick quiz tests your knowledge of sheep parasites and their control. 
>> Take the quiz.

This month's polls

Click the question to open the page then go to the poll at the top right hand corner of each web site. 

WormBoss: Did you prepare a low worm-risk paddock during the last 12 months?

FlyBoss: Do you apply a flystrike preventative treatment each year? If so, what deterines the time it is appplied?

LiceBoss: Between your most recent main shearing and the main shearing before that, did you apply a lice treatment, and if so, how long after shearing?

>> View results of previous polls


Paid advertisement



State Outlooks for Month Year

New South Wales
>> full report

Time to watch the weather and your sheep as temperatures start to warm. Any meaningful falls of rain will kick-start worm activity. Plans should already be in place to develop ‘clean’ weaning paddocks and to identify effective weaning drenches. Liver fluke infections may still pose a threat to sheep and cattle.

Victoria
>> full report

In the south west, the weather has been mild with just enough rain to keep grass growing. But soil moisture is still low. Many properties have high worm egg counts.

Queensland
>> full report

In western Queensland the drought continues. Sheep crowding around watering points where moisture leaks onto the ground are at risk of barber’s pole infestations, which further exacerbate a low plane of nutrition. Plans to develop low worm weaning paddocks should be well advanced.

Western Australia
>> full report

With the weather starting to warm, pasture growth will be at its maximum and both sheep worms and blowflies will be active. Weaning drenches and checking for drench resistance are discussed. 

Tasmania
>> full report

Drought continues in Tasmania, but that won’t stop parasites, especially in poorly nourished lambs. Paul Nilon busts some myths and gives some important tips for feeding, marking and weaning.

South Australia
>> full report

Despite the El Nino threat, rain continues to come in dribs and drabs. While there has been an exceptional early break in the upper north, the season has remained tough in parts of the mid and upper south east. Lice and flystrike are becoming more apparent with increasing wool length and the onset of spring temperatures.