News & Advice

Ticks, ticks and more ticks

Sep 3, 2020 | Beef cattle, Bulls, Dry stock, Grazing youngstock, Sheep, Working Dog

Our vets have noticed lots of ticks on farm at the moment – 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 commonly found on domestic livestock 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. Use of a tickicide such as Bayticol during each lifecycle will dramatically help 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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