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New South Wales worms, flies and lice update - January 2020

NSW WormBoss Worm Control Programs

NSW WormBoss Drench Decision Guides








Central West LLS

Coonamble: Jillian Kelly, DV (

The continued dry weather means that worm activity is low in the Coonamble district. Stock numbers also remain at historic lows, and the selloff continues. Recently promised rain yielded 3–7mm across most of the district.  Fly activity may increase following these showers, and producers are encouraged to check their sheep daily and treat affected sheep appropriately using the guidelines available via Paraboss. 

Dubbo: Sarah Maher, DV (

While we have had some rain over the last 24hrs in the Dubbo region, prior to that, it has been very hot and dry. There has been no increase in worm egg count testing, nor have any worm burdens been identified during post mortem examination.

Forbes: Nik Cronin, DV ( and Belinda Edmonstone, DV (

Ongoing dry, hot weather has meant that the thought of worms is far from our minds. It is unlikely that sheep will need a second summer drench; however, the only way to accurately assess this is to do a WormTest.

Weaner mobs need to be treated differently. Young sheep will not cope with a worm burden when they have an immature immune system. They are very susceptible to worms, particularly if nutritionally stressed, and producers should consider drenching them with an effective combination drench at weaning. Monitoring worm burdens in this group is essential particularly if they are in containment lots and fed on the ground where exposure to infected faeces and hence worm larvae could be a consequence if there is any moisture from rain or leaky watering points.

Riverina LLS

Young: Eliz Braddon, DV ( and Evie Duggan, DV (

Worm egg count (WEC) reports for the Young area have shown an increase in counts, but due to current conditions and varying management, they continue to vary from flock to flock. As a general rule, ewes that were carrying a low worm burden and have been in confinement still do not require drenching. This is due to the harsh environment for worm larvae survival. 

Producers who have been having issues with animal health (e.g. summer pneumonia) have seen higher worm egg counts in those sheep that are clinically affected compared to their healthy counterparts. This is an important reminder of the critical role that the immune response in adult sheep plays in keeping worm burdens low. 

Producers are strongly encouraged to carry out their own WEC's so that they can make informed decisions regarding the need to drench or how long they should wait before re-checking

Hanwood: Sophie Hemley, DV (

Limited worm tests were completed over the December to January period. Test results have been low, but small numbers of coccidia were present in two mobs:

  • Dorper ewes with lambs at foot grazing a dry improved pasture paddock returned a worm egg count of 80 strongyle-type eggs per gram, with low coccidia counts
  • Merino weaner lambs in a containment area had a zero worm egg count, but low coccidia counts.

Editor’s note: Coccidia are often present in sheep faecal samples, but usually not associated with the actual disease.

Producers are encouraged to complete WormTests following the recent storm activity. If you have any questions about your specific situation, your local District Veterinarian is only a phone call away—02 69601300. 

North West LLS

Moree: Justine McNally, DV (

Only a handful of WormTests have been conducted, and all but one result returned a resounding zero eggs per gram!  The properties tested cover almost every corner of the Moree district except for the Tamworth region. There are no worm egg count results for the Tamworth region— and the worm situation there could be more critical as there has been the odd shower of rain, and green pick.

Around Moree and west, there has been no rain except for today!!!! There are no pastures, and we are down to 15% of our livestock numbers across the board. Most sheep and cattle are being confinement fed, either in scrub paddocks or on stubble. Weather conditions have been completely unsuitable for larval survival, but with some rain and green pick, this situation could change very quickly.  When animals are under stress from adverse environmental conditions and their immune systems are compromised, how will they cope when the worms come to life again inside them?  

Producers are reminded to be vigilant by testing in the weeks post-rain. With the development of green pick, there could be a real danger of significant worm issues, especially if the rain is followed by some milder weather.

My big message to producers is to worm test every 2–4 weeks depending on previous worm test results, and if conditions are favourable.


For January 2020 state outlooks, please follow the links below:
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