The folks in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M indicate that some livestock producers are making the mistake of misusing chemicals to control mosquitoes. Dr. Sonja Swiger from Stephenville indicates the results of misusing these chemicals are potentially disastrous as the cure could be worse than the mosquitoes, not only for the animals but also for the environment. Dr. Swiger indicates she has heard people promoting the use of premise treatment products for mosquito control directly on their animals. These chemicals are pyrethroids and the label clearly states they are not for use on animals and to do so could lead to death of the cattle. Dr. Joe Paschal from Corpus Christi also indicates he has heard some producers are using, on animals, insecticides that are approved only for termite treatment. Using these products can lead to skin disease, retention in the meat, or even death.
There are products available for treatment on animals, but they are harder to find after natural disasters such as hurricanes, a period during which mosquitoes thrive. However, it is not worth using a dangerous product. Most older cows can withstand the large number of mosquito bites, but calves and heifers could suffer from blood loss due to mosquito bites and even asphyxiation. One female mosquito can lay 200 eggs and all of these can emerge at one time, leading to hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes in a very short period. Asphyxiation occurs when the number of mosquitoes inhaled and ingested is so large that choking and death can occur. These high numbers of mosquitoes affect other animals, so make sure your dogs are on heartworm preventative and your horses are vaccinated for West Nile and encephalitis.