< Back to Outlooks Listing

Queensland worms, flies and lice update - April 2019

Brisbane: Maxine Murphy, Veterinary Parasitologist (maxine@paraboss.com.au)

Producers are reminded to WormTest while the weather remains warm. Any moisture from rain will support the barber’s pole cycle on pasture leading to worm burdens in sheep. The build-up in worm numbers at this time of the year will be slower than in summer as minimum temperatures drop to below 18°C—the magical temperature below which most barber’s pole eggs don’t hatch.

A WormTest on pregnant ewes and last year’s weaners can be used to monitor worm activity across the property and determine the need for the pre-lambing drench. Now is the time to start locking up paddocks ear-marked for lambing and weaning or using them for other purposes or running cattle. This will give pastures time to recover, and for infective larvae to die.

On the tablelands and slopes: prevent contamination with worm larvae in the 6 months prior to lambing. During March and April: spell paddocks, graze with cattle, or graze with sheep for up to 21 days after the end of the protection period of an effective drench.

On the slopes and plains: prevent contamination with worm larvae in the 4–5 months before they are needed. During this time, spell paddocks, or graze with cattle or use for cropping.

When planning a drench, consider doing a DrenchCheck on 10–20 sheep about 7 days before drenching the mob, and then retest the same 10­–20 sheep, 10–14 days after drenching. A zero worm egg count will indicate that the drench was effective. This still works for random sheep in the mob, but the same sheep improve accuracy.

Fly burdens need to be monitored due to the recent rain and the continued warm autumn temperatures in the Maranoa and Warrego.