Lice are host-specific external parasites.

They spend their entire life cycle on the animal, meaning that they can only spread between animals via direct contact.

Many large animals can suffer from lice, including cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. Lice are relatively common during winter months, as the animal’s coat is generally denser and provides warmth for louse eggs to develop. During warmer months, temperatures become too high for development to occur.

There are two types of lice – biting and sucking. Biting lice feed on skin debris, whereas sucking lice have adapted mouthparts which pierce the skin so they can feed on skin tissue and blood. Lice make animals extremely itchy – they rub themselves on anything they can find, and in severe cases can cause hair loss and skin trauma.

Lice can be managed using pour-on insecticides or injectable drenches. For more advice on control strategies and products available to treat lice, feel free to give one of our techs a call or pop in.