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Beyond the Bale : Oct - Nov 08
10 Pest management Beyond the Bale LuciTraps are part of Pat McGregor’s integrated approach to minimising flystrike. Trapping wild dogs By Fiona Conroy One flystrike answer: lure them in PhOTO: EVAN COLLIS By Fiona Conroy t hey smell disgusting, but each of the fly traps set around Pat and Bruce McGregor’s farm gives them a feeling of satisfaction. Every fly caught in one of the ‘LuciTraps’ is one that is not landing on a sheep and potentially causing flystrike. LuciTraps are part of the overall approach to minimising flystrike on the McGregor’s mixed farm, near York in Western Australia. Developed by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPI&F) and a private company, with the support of a predecessor to AWI, LuciTraps were commercially released in 1994. Each trap is baited with lure bottles that release chemicals especially attractive to the female Australian sheep blowfly (Lucilia cuprina), which enter through cone-shaped holes in the trap’s lid and are unable to escape. The McGregors run a flock of 1000 Merinos that lamb in May-June, are crutched in spring and shorn in autumn. “We’ve taken an integrated approach to minimising flystrike and fly traps are part of that approach,” Pat says. “I can’t say exactly what contribution the traps make, but they’re a reasonably easy way to help reduce the fly population. “We’ve had years when we’ve had serious fly problems – where, within a day, you can have a trap half full of flies. That’s a lot of flies which could have been landing on sheep.” The McGregors began using LuciTraps as part of their fly management program in 1999 and use one trap per 100 sheep. Their main fly season generally occurs with warm, humid weather in September and October. “If we have a bad fly season then we’ll jet, but we want to keep our chemical use to a minimum so we don’t run into issues with withholding periods and autumn shearing,” Pat says. “We generally put the lure bottles in the traps in August, which helps keep fly numbers down and reduces the potential of a fly wave developing. “We put the traps so they are at sheep height and place them in the sun, which keeps the lure bottles attractive to the flies. “The traps last for three to four years and are scattered over the property, along fences and near dams. “The lure bottles last three or more months – over the potential risk period – and by December our conditions are dry so flies aren’t a problem.” While the McGregors cannot quantify what impact the LuciTraps have had on reducing the prevalence of flystrike in their flock, they are confident that the traps are reducing the risk. More information: details of where to purchase LuciTraps are available by calling 07 3271 6299 ú More information: Dr David Dall, Pestat, 02 6201 2568; FeralMone® is available from rural merchandise stores and is distributed by Animal Control Technologies Australia, 03 9308 9688 e ach year wild dogs and foxes cause widespread damage to the wool industry and untold suffering to livestock. But a bad smell in a can is giving graziers an edge when it comes to baiting and trapping dogs and foxes. FeralMone® is an aerosol spray that smells distinctively like rotten eggs and has proven to be highly attractive to dogs and foxes. Its key ingredient – a mix of chemicals known as synthetic fermented egg – was developed by the US Department of Agriculture and gives the product a very distinctive smell. A quick spray of FeralMone® lures dogs and foxes to traps or 1080 bait stations and use of the spray has been shown to significantly increase bait uptake. FeralMone® was developed by Pestat Ltd with support from AWI and the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service, and is distributed by Animal Control Technologies Australia (ACTA). It was released onto the Australian market in 2005 and has attracted enquiries from overseas. More than 7000 cans of FeralMone® have been sold in Australia, FeraLMOne® is an aerOsOL sPray ThaT sMeLLs disTincTiveLy Like rOTTen eGGs and has PrOven TO be hiGhLy aTTracTive TO dOGs and FOxes. with the predominant markets in Queensland – where the spray is used primarily in feral dog control – and in NSW for feral dog and fox control. Sales in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia have mainly been for controlling foxes, with baiting programs prior to and during spring and autumn lambing. Each can of FeralMone® contains the equivalent of 300 one to two-second ‘sprays’, which can be applied to the soil surface directly above a buried trap or bait, or on a rock or branch adjacent to the trap or bait. The smell of FeralMone® lasts for three to four days. Pestat managing director Dr David Dall says FeralMone® is a niche product that is selling well as a companion product for dog and fox baits. “We don’t actually know exactly why dogs and foxes find the spray mix attractive, but we do know that it stinks and it works,” Dr Dall says. “The dog or fox smells the FeralMone® and comes into the area where the bait or trap is buried.” Dr Dall says the spray is becoming popular among graziers and groups managing parks and wildlife reserves. “Using FeralMone® increases the efficiency and effectiveness of baiting and trapping programs,” he says. “We get feedback all the time about how effective the spray is in attracting feral dogs and foxes.” AWI animal health program manager Dr Johann Schröder says increasing numbers of wild dogs are a major concern for woolgrowers in certain areas. “In some areas wild dog attacks account for 20 per cent of stock mortalities and cause crippling economic losses,” he says. “Rising fox numbers are also a major problem in southern Australia – especially in areas where increasing numbers of properties are swinging over to cropping and no longer running fox-control programs.” AWI is supporting a number of initiatives to control feral dogs and pests and currently receives royalties from the sales of FeralMone®, which are invested in R&D. AWI investment is also being used to develop a new fox and dog bait, which will be an alternative to 1080 baits. Application for registration of the new bait product will be submitted in 2009. and foxes by the nose It’s not clear why it works, but it does – the foul- smelling compound FeralMone® draws feral dogs and foxes to bait or a trap very successfully ú
Dec 08 - Jan 09
Aug - Sep 08