Manage mosquitoes and midges on cattle

Mosquito and midge management on cattle is difficult to achieve and is generally not warranted.

Mosquito control typically requires eliminating or managing standing water to remove their breeding grounds.

The microscopic nature of midges (Figure 1) makes on-farm monitoring difficult for farmers and wind dispersal of midges makes it difficult to control their movements (or prevent their access). Little is known regarding cattle susceptibility to midge attack and there is currently no knowledge relating to cattle breeds showing resistance to midges.

The majority of products registered for use against midges on cattle are pour-on products containing a synthetic pyrethroid (SP). A topical repellent aerosol spray containing citronella and pyrethrin is also available. Products registered for use against mosquitoes on cattle are mostly based on repellent compounds that are aimed at deterring the disease carrying insects from biting.

Figure 1. Monitoring for microscopic midges is difficult, they make a mosquito look large. Image courtesy of Leanne Nelson, Biosecurity Queensland