Effective lice control in sheep

Typically, lice control has happened on our farms in the winter when stock numbers are at their lowest but, does this give the best control? The answer is probably no.  

The most effective lice control, using externally applied products, occurs when it is applied to sheep straight off the shears. That means within 24 hours of shearing when using a backline applied product. 

Some farmers favour using automatic jetting races but achieving full control with this method is difficult. If you are using a jetting race, do it as soon as possible after shearing, but expect that you may not get complete knock-down.  

You may have heard of a new lice treatment - Flexolt – which is an oral option and can be used independent of shearing time as it is effective on any wool length. So, if you shear in the summer, but want to dip for lice in the winter, this would be the best method for you. It may also suit your system if you shear groups at different times, e.g. hoggets/two-tooths/rams. This is a product that will need to be ordered in, so get in touch if you are keen for this. 

It is important to rotate the use of chemicals used for lice control to avoid resistance developing. So, don’t use the same chemical for lice as you have for fly, or the same lice product year on year.   

To create a lice control programme that best fits your farm, talk to your KeyVet, or one of the team at VetSouth.  


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