Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Survey to assess fly and parasite control methods utilized by Washington rangeland beef cattle producers

Holly Ferguson, hferguson@wsu.edu1, Douglas B. Walsh, dwalsh@wsu.edu1, Sally Coates, scoates@tricity.wsu.edu1, Timothy Waters, twaters@wsu.edu2, and Art Linton3. (1) Washington State University, Entomology, 24106 N. Bunn Rd, Prosser, WA, (2) Washington State University, Franklin County Extension, 1016 N. 4th Ave, Pasco, WA, (3) Washington State University, Animal Science, 24106 N. Bunn Rd, Prosser, WA

A questionnaire on current parasite/pest control programs was distributed to a large sample of beef cattle producers in Washington State at cattlemen’s meetings and via email. This survey was used to assess cattle pest prevalence and pest control product use and effectiveness. The majority of the respondents came from the Central (39%) and the Southeast (27%) districts of Washington State. Producers were asked questions on both external parasite and internal pest/parasite management practices. External pests/parasites included horn flies, face flies, cattle lice, cattle grubs, mange mites, and ticks. Internal parasites included stomach worms and liver flukes. Internal parasites (stomach worms presumably) were shown to be more of a concern to beef producers than external pests/parasites, though treatment frequency for horn flies and face flies was greater among a larger number of producers. Based on the responses received, internal parasites ranked as the number one pest for beef cattle producers, followed by cattle lice in second place, cattle grubs in third place, followed by horn flies and face flies. Veterinarian recommendation ranked as the primary reason why producers treated for internal parasites, and observation of high numbers of external parasites was the most cited reason to treat for external pests. An overwhelming majority reported choosing pour-on products for treatment of internal parasites (83%). Pour-ons, dust bags, ear tags, and/or sprays were used by respondents to control external parasites. The majority of respondents reported that they were spending $4 or less per head to control internal parasites (60%), and $4 or less to control external pests/parasites (56%). When asked how they currently obtain knowledge on pest management strategies, they responded: personal experience (62%), veterinarian (56%), chemical representative (31%), University Extension (21%), and other producers (20%). The complete results of the survey will be published in an Extension Bulletin.

Species 1: Diptera Muscidae Haematobia irritans (horn fly)
Species 2: Diptera Muscidae Musca autumnalis (face fly)
Species 3: Diptera Oestridae Hypoderma lineatum (cattle grub)