Top Tips For Worm Control

Effective worm control relies on the correct and responsible use of wormers combined with good pasture management.

  • Use Faecal Worm Egg Counts (FWEC) during the year to assess which horses need worming. Generally treat horses with a worm egg count greater than 200 eggs/g.
  • Target the following worms at the correct time of year with a wormer effective at killing them:
    • Encysted Redworm Larvae - late autumn and late winter;
    • Bots - winter;
    • Tapeworm - spring and autumn.
  • Worm all horses and ponies at the same time with the same product.
  • Use the correct dose: the recommended dosage will vary according to the horse’s weight. Estimate weight as accurately as possible using scales or a weigh tape.
  • Don’t rely on the blanket use of the same wormer: this may encourage the development of drug resistance in the parasite population.
  • Rotate the active ingredient for each grazing season: select one product type and use for the entire grazing season.

A well-managed pasture will help to reduce the worm burden.  The following points should be followed where possible:

  • Remove droppings on a regular basis (preferably daily, but at least twice a week) and don’t use horse manure as fertiliser.
  • Don’t overstock pastures: a maximum of two horses per hectare or 1-1.5 acres per horse is recommended.
  • Graze horses of a similar age together – young horses are more susceptible to a higher worm burden.
  • Sub-divide grazing areas into smaller paddocks and graze on a rotational basis.
  • Harrow pasture during dry conditions to expose soil-borne larvae so that they dry out and die.
  • Graze paddocks with other livestock too. This will dilute the horse worm burden on your pasture.