Is Cattle Tick Resistance a Problem for You?

Controlling cattle tick is an ongoing and challenging battle facing many Australian cattle producers each year.

Correct and early tick identification is vital to maintaining herd health. To successfully treat tick in cattle, an effective management program must be undertaken incorporating a number of steps, including;

1. Choosing the right chemical active for your needs and planning the rotation of these actives.
2. Using the right facilities or application method.
3. Planning the timing of the treatment.
4. Knowing your animal and paddock contamination.
5. Knowing your market ie. when you need to sell or move cattle; and
6. Knowing how some treatments can reduce the efficacy of others if not used correctly.

The key issues when treating cattle tick can be complex and a few things need to be considered before treatment can occur. These include:

1. Chemical resistance - resistance can occur when dips and sprays with a particular active ingredient have been overused or not used in a rotation program and are no longer effective in eradicating ticks and other parasites.
2. Using slower acting, but longer lasting chemicals that rely on the ticks feeding off the blood of the animal (i.e. ML - ‘mectin’ based products and Fluazuron applications). This control can take more time to be effective compared to other application methods.
3. Recontamination of clean cattle can easily occur, especially if the male tick moves from animal to animal and does not ingest as much blood infected with the chemical base.
4. Timing of the treatment.  Treating cattle with long acting chemicals when tick numbers are low can have a significant effect on the breeding cycle of the ticks and reduce numbers when the tick burden increases.

The life cycle of a tick involves both stages on the animal and in the paddock. You may visibly only see a few ticks on your herd, but many immature ticks are unseen on the animal or in the pasture. The female tick is a prolific breeder, with the capacity to lay up to 3000 eggs in one cycle. Failure to take into account tick numbers within the paddock can lead to poor tick control. Good planning and effective use of treatments can lead to a greater results in clearing ticks from your herd..

The key to more successful results in clearing cattle tick is to avoid chemical resistance. This can be achieved by rotating the chemical active ingredient used. This is different to just changing brands. Producers need to ensure the active ingredient is different and regularly alternated.

There are a number of different chemical ingredients used in cattle dips, sprays & drenches. Ivermectin (CattlePro, Ivomec, Ausmectin, Cattlemax, Starmec LV), Abamectin (Paramectin), Doramectin (Dectomax), Fluazuron (TickPro, Acatak & Acatak Duostar), Moxidectin (Cydectin, Moxistar, Cattleguard), Diazinon (Dip & Spray), Chlorfenvinphos (Supona) Cypermethrin/Chlorfenvinphos (Barricade S Cattle Dip & Spray), Flumethrin (Bayticol), Amitraz ( Dipa-Tik, Taktic EC & WP) & Ethion / Deltamethrin (Tixafly).

Rotating chemical ingredients, which is different to changing brand names, as well as taking into account treatment times, will result in less resistance and better herd clearance management.

This is a lot to take in, so if you’re not sure of the best rotation plan to avoid chemical resistance in your cattle when treating tick, contact Specialist Sales to discuss your options.

Specialist Sales stocks all these active ingredients in branded and generic products and we have qualified staff who can support you through understanding chemical resistance. Our website also has detailed product information, explaining the different chemicals, dosage rates, withholding periods, and retreatment intervals.

To avoid chemical resistance to cattle tick, contact the Specialist Sales team for advice, knowledge and competitive pricing on all your tick clearance products by phoning 1800 780 317, or visit our website www.SpecialistSales.com.au.