News & Advice

Ticks, ticks and more ticks

Mar 5, 2018 | Beef cattle, Dry stock, Dry stock animal health & welfare, Grazing youngstock, Sheep

Ticks are nasty blood sucking external parasites, which can affect sheep and cattle, as well as other species including deer, goats, horses and domestic animals. Only one species of tick is found in New Zealand, and this is the cattle tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. This tick has three growing stages; larvae, nymph and adult, which feed off separate hosts of various species. Adult ticks lay eggs in the soil in mid-summer, which hatch into larvae late summer. Larvae move up pasture and attach to a passing host animal, upon which they feed until the drop off and become a nymph in the pasture again. The nymph phase can survive over winter, even in quite cold temperatures, until Spring when they attach to another host animal and feed, before dropping off and becoming adults.

Blood loss and anaemia caused by ticks can result in reduced weight gain and production, and even deaths in young lambs. Theileriosis, which only affects cattle, is also transmitted by ticks.

Bayticol is registered for use in cattle to control ticks, but it can be used off-licence in sheep as well, but care must be taken with withholding periods. Early application will provide significant reduction in summer populations of ticks, followed by treatment every three to six weeks to ensure that all stages are affected by the product. Finishing use after each lifecycle stage will dramatically reduce future tick populations.

Don’t forget about your dogs either! Seresto collars provide eight months worth of flea and tick prevention. Alternatively, chewable Nexgard tablets provide monthly tick, flea and mite control.

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