15 August 1997

Worms thrive in warm & wet

WARM wet weather in the south has increased worm levels on pasture and producers cannot afford to relax dosing programmes.

Despite current larval counts of only 667 for sheep and 500 for cattle, recent weather could increase worm numbers above the 1000 mark considered dangerous, says parasitologist Gordon Graham.

"If this weather continues, worm levels will rise further and producers must remain watchful for symptoms associated with high worm burdens," says Mr Graham.

He suggests that in some areas standing water could allow snails, secondary host of the flukeworm, to thrive, raising fluke risks.

"While two dry years and a dry start to this year means the snail population is depleted, numbers must be watched carefully over the coming months," he says.