Ensure the right lice treatment

THE cooler seasons brings with it an unwanted guest — the sheep louse.

Winter is the time populations increase, causing discomfort for sheep and warranting a preventative treatment programme by the farmer.

There are important points to note when treating for lice.

With insecticide resistance already present in other countries and talk about the effectiveness of louse treatments in New Zealand, we need to ensure we are approaching the issue in a sustainable manner.

Efficacy requires a switch to other actives for consecutive treatments as treating repeatedly with a chemical from the same chemical group (even if it is a different active ingredient) exerts pressure for the selection of resistance.

If you are experiencing sub-par performance with lice-kill treatment, then it would be wise to have this thoroughly investigated.

Lice are present on sheep year-round in varying numbers. This means that dipping, done properly and under optimum conditions (the right wool length and appropriate chemical) will kill lice at any time of the year. Treatment during summer can also help reduce the risk of autumn and winter population increases.

Important points to note include effective control of lice requires a two-year treatment cycle. The two year/two tier approach keeps louse numbers low in a flock and may provide an opportunity for eradication.

Treat the infestation in the ewe and then the residual lice that pass from ewe to lamb. Lambs should be treated as soon as possible, preferably at weaning. Where treating for flystrike, a product that kills both fly and lice can be applied.

For flocks with a history of recurring louse problems, consider a follow-up approach with a specific louse control product.

Apply chemical strictly according to label directions and ensure the dose rate is correct as it’s critical that effective levels of chemical are applied all over the sheep’s body.

THE cooler seasons brings with it an unwanted guest — the sheep louse.

Winter is the time populations increase, causing discomfort for sheep and warranting a preventative treatment programme by the farmer.

There are important points to note when treating for lice.

With insecticide resistance already present in other countries and talk about the effectiveness of louse treatments in New Zealand, we need to ensure we are approaching the issue in a sustainable manner.

Efficacy requires a switch to other actives for consecutive treatments as treating repeatedly with a chemical from the same chemical group (even if it is a different active ingredient) exerts pressure for the selection of resistance.

If you are experiencing sub-par performance with lice-kill treatment, then it would be wise to have this thoroughly investigated.

Lice are present on sheep year-round in varying numbers. This means that dipping, done properly and under optimum conditions (the right wool length and appropriate chemical) will kill lice at any time of the year. Treatment during summer can also help reduce the risk of autumn and winter population increases.

Important points to note include effective control of lice requires a two-year treatment cycle. The two year/two tier approach keeps louse numbers low in a flock and may provide an opportunity for eradication.

Treat the infestation in the ewe and then the residual lice that pass from ewe to lamb. Lambs should be treated as soon as possible, preferably at weaning. Where treating for flystrike, a product that kills both fly and lice can be applied.

For flocks with a history of recurring louse problems, consider a follow-up approach with a specific louse control product.

Apply chemical strictly according to label directions and ensure the dose rate is correct as it’s critical that effective levels of chemical are applied all over the sheep’s body.

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