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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - May 2015

Perth: Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health (pandonilon@bigpond.com)

Some may remember Monte Dwyer, the slightly absurd weather man from Channel 9‘s morning show.  Before that he was the ABC’s Darwin weather reporter.  The dry season weather in the Top End was so invariant that Monte occasionally remained silent while there was a map fly around, while the promise of an unseasonal shower at Gove would send him orgasmic (just a little bit, as the ABC discouraged that sort of thing).  So too the egg counts of late.  Nearly all counts have remained predictably and boringly low, with the exception of lambs on irrigation and some merino weaners.  Even most of the latter are behaving themselves, even if they are short of feed.  No orgasms from your correspondent:  it’s hard to get onto paper and merino weaners are hardly the stuff of ‘la petite mort’.

May–June is when I usually recommend drench tests be done.  You can reasonably expect sufficient counts and numbers of both major species.  Because of the low counts you may have to wait a bit.  After the prolonged dry it will be a while before there are many Trichs.  So, wait until you have a count of 350–400 and if possible do some larval diffs before launching.

A client proudly showed me his new ‘Lazer jetter’.  Apart from labour efficiency their selling point is high pressure/low chemical use.  For fly control this is usually fine, but for lice control you sometimes need volume.  It’s important to match the chemical to the machine and vice-versa.  Read the instructions for both.

Speaking of correct use, attached is a picture of the ‘correct’ way to use a shower dip.  


Image: Shower dips are generally better suited to being used as a pig-pen, than for eradicating lice in sheep. Source: Paul Nilon.
Image: Shower dips are generally better suited to being used as a pig-pen, than for eradicating lice in sheep. Source: Paul Nilon.

The shower dip in the image was wisely retired from sheep use many, many years ago. The draining, concrete floors are ideal for this use.