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Beyond the Bale : March 2016
32 ON FARM 32 ON FARM FLY AND LICE TREATMENTS: WHICH APPLICATION METHODS SUIT YOUR FARM? In the March 2015 Beyond the Bale article ‘To dip, spray, jet or backline?’, the important operational aspects of application methods were considered. This article highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The application methods that can be used for (a) flystrike prevention and treatment and (b) lice treatment are summarised in the table right. The methods’ effectiveness will depend on their set up, how well they are used by the operator and which chemical is used in them. DIPPING Advantages Dips are best suited to applying short-wool lice treatments because the product is applied all over the body allowing a rapid knockdown or kill of the lice (if a fully effective chemical has been used). For most products, this removes the need for a quarantine period (the time before treated sheep can be mixed with other lice-free sheep) compared with using backline or spray-on lice products. Shower, plunge and cage dips are all capable of treating relatively large numbers of sheep easily. Although they are not suited to applying flystrike prevention products, they can be useful for emergency flystrike treatments when many sheep are struck. Cage dips also reduce the exposure of the operator to splashing from the dipwash. Disadvantages For fly treatments, only cyromazine is registered for use in dips, and this is not suitable alone for treating struck sheep, as maggots take too long to die. For lice treatments, dipping should not be done until two weeks off shears to allow shearing wounds to close. This is generally inconvenient on large properties where the re-mustering costs can be significant. The treatment must then be completed no later than six weeks off shears, as after this, wetting to the skin all over may not be achieved in the time spent in the dip. While label recommendations do not mention cover or snow combs, you should consider that the extra wool left on the sheep is equivalent to some weeks’ growth. Aside from having access to a dip, there are a number of other disadvantages: • Plentiful clean water is required. • There is a need to dispose of the spent and unused dipwash. • Operator exposure to the chemical concentrate and dipwash can be high, except with cage dips. • Diseases such as dermatophilus (lumpy wool) can be spread. • Sheep may swallow dipwash (when immersed in a plunge or cage dip). • Sheep must be strong enough to swim the length of a plunge dip and climb out fully wet. • Operators may not have the skills to maintain the equipment (although cage dips usually come with trained contractors). While all application methods can be successful when carried out correctly, your best treatment choice will be the method where you can access properly maintained and set up equipment, which you or your staff can use correctly on the whole mob. Cage dipping of sheep provides a safe working environment when treating sheep for lice. Application method Flystrike prevention Flystrike treatment Lice treatment Dip – plunge Not recommended Not recommended Eradication Dip – cage Not recommended Not recommended Eradication Dip – shower Not recommended Not recommended Eradication Hand jet Suitable Suitable Suppression only Automatic jetting race Suitable Suitable if equipment jets affected areas Suppression only Short wool spray-on or backline Suitable, but protection period may be reduced Not ideal as a sole treatment as larvae take some time to die Eradication Long wool spray-on or backline Suitable Not ideal as a sole treatment as larvae take some time to die Suppression only
In the Shops - March 2016