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The development of insecticide resistance allows individual insects to survive an exposure to insecticide that would kill individuals from a ‘normal’ population.
We know that resistance to chemicals is increasing and so it is important for woolgrowers to adopt management strategies.
There are a number of management strategies that sheep producers can adopt to minimise the development of resistance or at least delay the onset of resistance.
- Adopt an integrated pest management strategy that incorporates non-chemical controls such as genetic selection and timing of shearing and crutching to reduce the reliance on chemicals.
- Only use insecticides when absolutely necessary. This reduces selection pressure.
- If treatment is needed, make sure it is applied effectively - do it right, once!
- Know which insecticides belong to which insecticide class. If treatments for lice and flystrike are deemed necessary, use different insecticides and appropriate classes for each pest. Use the Flyboss tools to ensure that you are using different classes of chemical for flystrike and lice treatment.
- Use insecticides from different classes for treating and preventing flystrike. This is particularly important if relying on insecticides to kill larvae on flystruck sheep. It is important to break the cycle and ensure maggots on struck sheep do not survive. Non-insecticidal methods are more reliable than flystrike dressings for this purpose - dressings are mainly to prevent re-strike.
- Be aware that resistance to one insecticide may cause a cross-resistance to another related insecticide.
- As with all chemical treatments, follow the label directions and keep a record of the product (including batch number), dose rate, date of treatment and mob treated, for future reference.
For more information on insecticide resistance, visit the Flyboss webpage.
Surveys are showing concerning levels of resistance to some flystrike prevention options.
Hear head of research at AWI Dr Jane Littlejohn discuss options and where to from here.