Ministry of Agriculture

Control of Insect and Related Pests of Livestock and Poultry in British Columbia

Pest Management Factsheet 98-02, revised March, 2002

Livestock Pests

Black Flies
Bot Flies
Cattle Grubs
Face Fly
Hog Mange Mite
Horn Fly
Horse & Deer Flies
House Fly
Lice
Mosquitoes
Poultry Lice
Chicken Mite & Northern Fowl Mite
Sheep Bot Fly
Sheep Ked
Stable Fly
Ticks

 

Introduction

Protection of livestock and poultry from various insect and related pests (mites and ticks) involves recognition of the pests and/or their damage, knowledge of their life cycle and habits, and application of a control program to either prevent or minimize damage. This fact sheet summarizes information on the recognition, life cycle and control of pests that attack livestock and poultry in B.C.

The chemical recommendations are based on those developed by the Western Committee on Livestock Pests. These recommendations do not supersede or substitute for the instructions on the pesticide product label, which must be followed carefully. Only the common names of chemicals are presented. Check the guarantee statement on the product label to ensure you have the correct chemical. Not all chemicals registered for use on livestock and poultry are listed, nor are all chemicals listed available in all areas. Non-chemical control practices are described where available and should be considered when planning a pest management program.

Pesticide Residues

Levels of pesticide residues in meat and poultry products are regulated by Federal law and any products found with unacceptable residue levels will be confiscated and destroyed at the owner's expense. Pesticides can enter animals as a result of direct application or injection, or by ingestion of contaminated feed. General precautions to follow to avoid unacceptable residues:

  1. Apply recommended dosages - not more, not less.
  2. Observe the preslaughter interval (the time, usually days, between last treatment and when the animals are expected to be slaughtered).
  3. Do not feed contaminated feedstuffs (seed, forage, crop residue, vegetable or fruit or their by-products).
  4. Do not contaminate bedding and loafing areas, feed or water troughs, dugouts/wells, milking equipment or milk handling, storage or processing areas.
  5. Prevent animal access to pesticide-treated grain and other contaminated feed by secure storage and proper disposal, respectively.
  6. If dairy cattle are involved, check the label for use on lactating animals and interval between application and freshening of non-lactating animals.

Personal and Animal Safety

Pesticides are dangerous to both applicator and animal if stored or handled without due care and attention.

To ensure personal protection against accidental contamination or poisoning:

  1. Read the label before using any product and follow health and safety precautions as well as application instructions.
  2. Pesticides must be stored in their original containers in a heated, lockable, ventilated room or storage cabinet.
  3. When applying pesticides, wear protective clothing always and a respirator if sprays or dusts are used.
  4. Wash with soap and water after handling pesticides.
  5. Dispose of empty containers or unwanted product properly.
  6. Do not contaminate lakes, streams, ponds, etc., when filling or cleaning spray equipment.

To ensure animal protection against accidental contamination or poisoning:

  1. Apply product as directed on the label at the recommended rate and time.
  2. Do not treat sick, emaciated or convalescent animals, or animals under severe stress.
  3. Generally, animals less than 3 months of age should not be treated.
  4. Keep animals away from pesticide containers (new or used) or pesticide-contaminated feed.
  5. Check the label for restrictions regarding application in conjunction with other pesticides or animal health products.

Symptoms of Livestock Poisoning

Because livestock (cattle, goats, sheep, horses, swine) are mammals, they react to organophosphate and carbamate poisoning just like people. Excessive defecation, urination, tears, twitching and convulsions are symptoms of acute poisoning. Asphyxiation is the ultimate cause of death if an antidote is not administered as described on the product label. Smaller doses lead to corresponding but less severe symptoms.

Pesticide Information Table

For each of the chemicals recommended in this fact sheet the table below lists the chemical class, common name, some trade names and formulations, and the preslaughter interval. Also indicated is whether a pesticide applicators' license is required to purchase or apply a product under either the regulations of the B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks (MELP) or the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB). Preslaughter intervals (PSI) will vary according to the formulation used and the kind of animal treated. Please read the definitions at the bottom of the table which explain the abbreviations used in the table.

READ THE PRODUCT LABEL CAREFULLY BEFORE USING AND FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS

Common Name Chemical Class Trade Name(s) Formulations PSI (days) Applicator Certificate MELP Applicator Certificate WCB
Abamectin AV Endecto injection 42 no no
Carbaryl C Sevin WP, dust 7 no yes
Coumaphos OP Co-Ral dust bag 1 no yes
Cyfluthrin SP CyLence pour-on 1 no no
Cypermethrin SP Stockaid ear tag remove no yes
Cypermethrin + Diazinon SP
OP
Eliminator ear tag remove no yes
Diazinon OP Protector ear tag remove no yes
Diazinon OP Optimizer ear tag remove no yes
Dichlorvos OP various EC, bait, strip 0 no yes
Dimethoate OP Cygon
Lagon
EC
EC
N/A
N/A
no
no
yes
yes
Doramectin AV Dectomax injection
pour-on
40
55
no
no
no
no
Eprinomectin AV Eprinex pour-on 0 no no
Fenthion OP Tiguvon
Spotton
Lysoff
pour-on
pour-on
EC
14
45
35
no
no
no
yes
yes
yes
Fenvalerate SP Bovaid ear tag remove no yes
Flucythrinate SP Guardian ear tag remove no yes
Ivermectin AV Ivomec injection 35(beef cattle)
28 (hogs)
no

no
no

no
Ivermectin AV Ivomec drench
pour-on
14(sheep)
49(beef cattle)
no
no
no
no
Ivermectin AV Ivomec Bolus 184 no no
Malathion OP Malathion, others EC, dust 30 no no
Methomyl C Premium Golden
Malrin, others
fly bait N/A no yes
Methoxychlor OC Methoxychlor
Methoxol
EC
EC
7
7
no
no
no
no
Moxidectin   Cydectin injection 36 no no
Permethrin SP Delice pour-on 0 no no
Permethrin SP Ectiban EC 5(poultry)
1-7(beef cattle)
no no
Permethrin SP Ectiban ear tag tape remove no no
Permethrin SP GardStar ear tag remove no no
Permethrin SP Sentinel EC as per Ectiban no no
Permethrin SP Sanbar EC as per Ectiban no no
Permethrin SP Atroban ear tag remove no no
Permethrin SP Permectrin ear tag remove no no
Propoxur C Baygon EC N/A no yes
Rotenone BT various dust, WP 0 no yes
Tetrachlorvinphos OP Austin
Debantic
Debantic
Ectogard
ear tag
WP
ear tag
ear tag
remove
0
remove
remove
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
Trichlorfon OP Dipterex
Grubex
Neguvon
Warble Killer
bait
pour-on
pour-on
pour-on
N/A
21
21
21
no
no
no
no
yes
yes
yes
yes

DEFINITION OF ABBREVIATIONS:

OP = organophosphate
C = carbamate
SP = synthetic pyrethroid
OC = organochlorine
AV = avermectin
BT = botanical
EC = emulsifiable concentrate
WP = wettable powder
N/A = not applicable
PSI = preslaughter interval in days
remove = remove tag before shipping

Application Methods

Pesticides are applied to livestock through insecticide-impregnated ear tags or tag tapes, sprays or dusts, free-choice or forced-use self-treatment backrubbers and dust bags, pour-ons and injectables. Pesticides are usually applied to poultry as dusts or sprays either directly to the birds or to their nests and roosts. If handling facilities are required to treat livestock, they should be designed with safety in mind for both people and cattle, for efficiency of operation, and allow for proper application of treatments.

1. Ear tags/tag tapes

Insecticidal ear tags and ear tags tapes were designed for horn fly control and reduction of face flies on cattle. Insecticide is slowly released from the ear tag that is attached to one of the animal's ears or from "band-aid"-like tapes that are attached to the neck of an identification ear tag. In both cases insecticide is applied to the shoulders and sides of the animals as they swing their heads to dislodge the flies.

The tags should be applied using the special pliers to all yearling and mature cattle in a herd. To reduce tag loss in pastures with bush, attach the ear tag on the back side of the ear. Calves may also be tagged, however first check the product label for any age restrictions. Follow label instructions for proper attachment of tags and to avoid injury to the ears; always wear gloves. The tags/tapes should be removed at the end of the season and collected up for proper disposal.

Due to the development of resistance by horn flies in many parts of Canada to the synthetic pyrethroid insecticides used in most ear tags/tapes, producers are advised to alternate these tags/tapes in successive years with organophosphate (OP) insecticide-impregnated ear tags or another application method using OP or carbamate insecticides. Alternatively producers can use an ear tag containing a pyrethroid and an OP insecticide as part of a resistance management program.

2. Sprays and Dusts

Ready-to-use and emulsifiable concentrate liquid (EC) and wettable powder (WP) insecticide formulations are available which can be applied to cattle on an as-needed basis at set minimum intervals. Ready-to-use products are usually aerosols that are applied along the backline and upper sides of livestock. The residual control of these products is very short and they must be applied daily to provide adequate protection. Concentrate products are mixed with water and applied to cattle as whole-body sprays (up to 4.5 L/animal) using a high or low pressure sprayer. These sprays are very effective, however more cattle herding and handling is required than may be practical or desirable. Ready-to-use dust formulations in shaker cans are applied in the same way as aerosol products but will provide a little longer residual control.

3. Backrubbers and Dust Bags

These devices provide for self-treatment of insecticides in either free-choice or forced-use situations. Liquid concentrate formulations should be mixed according to label instructions with low viscosity oil such as diesel, No. 2 fuel oil, SAE 30 motor oil, or mineral oil; do not use crank-case oil or used motor oil.

Free-choice backrubbers (self treatment oilers)

Free-choice application involves backrubbers located in pastures where animals are free to use them as they require. In order to familiarize cattle with using a backrubber, it is recommended that the device be placed with the cattle the previous winter. Free-choice backrubbers are very effective for lice control and the cattle soon learn to use the device to get relief from lice infestations. Once in the pasture, the backrubbers must be located near a salt or mineral lick, or where cattle water or rest for part of the day, to make it as convenient as possible for the cattle to use the device. The backrubbers should be checked regularly to make sure they are not empty and are not leaking or wasting solution. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for care and maintenance to ensure proper operation.

Forced use backrubbers

Forced-use application involves suspending a dust bag or backrubber in a gate leading into a fenced-off water supply or salt lick. If the gateway is narrower than 1.5 m, it is recommended that two gateways be used for treatment to ensure animals have entry into and exit from the enclosure. Occasionally an animal will loiter under a backrubber blocking the gateway. Animals are forced to be treated as they pass under the bag or backrubber and thus every animal is treated at least daily. This is an advantage over free-choice application, however forced-use may result in greater insecticide usage beyond what is necessary to protect the herd. The applicators must be checked regularly for insecticide level and topped up as necessary.

4. Pour-ons

Pour-on treatment involves the application of an insecticide along the backline of livestock at a prescribed dosage. Pour-ons are available ready-to-use or are prepared from a concentrate, and are applied using graduated ladles, graduated squeeze bottles or dosage-adjustable hand "guns". It is important that the correct dosage be applied to the animals to ensure control of the pest and to avoid poisoning the animal. Because pour-on application requires much less chemical, is less wasteful, and the dosage is more precise than whole-body sprays, pour-on application should be used whenever possible.

5. Injectables

Injectable products are administered to livestock using syringes to inject the ready-to-use product into the animal following the label instructions. Injectables offer the same advantages as pour-ons. Again it is important to inject the correct dosage to ensure effective pest control. Consult your local veterinarian for information on the proper use and care of syringes and needles.

Black Flies | Bot Flies | Cattle Grubs | Face Fly | Hog Mange Mite | Horn Fly
Horse & Deer Flies | House Fly | Lice | Mosquitoes | Poultry Lice
Chicken Mite & Northern Fowl Mite | Sheep Bot Fly | Sheep Ked | Stable Fly | Ticks