There are 2 types of lice infest cattle. They are chewing lice and sucking lice. Though chewing lice are the most common type to be found in cattle, however, large populations of sucking lice are the most dangerous one.
Large infestation of lice in cattle can affect animals’ health, it can cause some loss to a herd’s productivity. Lice will cause irritation which is sometimes are very extreme, decreasing milk production, loss of appetite. Not to mention the blood loss of the cow and can also cause stress to cows. Can you imagine how it feels to get infested by lice? It must be very irritating. Itchiness, restlessness, discomfort, broken skin, you mention it. Hence, we would like to discuss some natural remedies to get rid of lice in cattle in this article. As for some organic farming, producers require natural solutions which won’t harm the health of the cattle.
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To get to know if your cattle are infected, you should recognize some of the symptoms shown, like hair loss, greasy hair, constant itching and you can also find lesions from infections as your cattle scratches open the skin. As you might know that lice are spread by direct contact just like calves got infected from their mothers. So it is very important to separate the infected and the uninfected cattle to avoid large spread among them.
Lice is growing fast and a lot in winter season because cattle’s winter hair provides lice protection and a great environment for reproduction. As mentioned above that lice can be spread through contact with infected animals. You need to quarantine all new cattle to have thorough check for at least a month before you put them together with your existing cattle.
Before you treat your cattle with treatment, you should ensure to feed the cattle with high plane of nutrition to keep their health maintained as they will have more resistance toward lice infestation. However, we need to have some knowledge to detect any lice infestations on the cattle. Check if your cattle constantly rub his body which causes hair loss which can be seen on the neck, shoulder and rump areas. You can confirm the presence of lice by close examinations of the hair and skin which is seen easily to be affected.
Normally, eggs are easily seen then lice themselves. Why? Because the eggs are while in color and are seen in the hairs in clumps. Biting cattle lice as very fast in moving, they will move when the hair is parted. While sucking lice are grey or blue grey and they have a pointed head which usually remains stuck on the skin. Some cattle show different symptoms for the same insect. Some show greater irritation and great hair loss compared to others.
Cattle with good health are generally less affected by lice as their high quality diet means their immune system are on top condition. While cattle with poor condition won’t have good immune system to protect themselves from the lice attack.
Here are natural remedies you can consider in treating your cattle:
1. Enzymatic soap
Treat your cattle with regular soaping, not the bathing. Apply pure soap onto your cattle. Do this regularly will get rid of the lice. Remember that your cattle can be free of lice only when you soap them often. Here, soap acts as a dissolvent in the exoskeleton of the lice. It can effectively kill lice and the eggs.
Soap when combined with certain enzyme, can kill lice by dehydrating them. This is one of good option to control lice on your cattle. It is non-toxic both for human and for your cattle. However, it is time consuming. As you need to redo the process in seven days to kill the newly hatched lice.
2. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
This is a product from fossilized material similar to algae. It works by penetrating lice’s exoskeleton. And it is very toxic to insects but isn’t to human or animal.
Apply it all over your cattle. Use the food-grade quality and you should protect yourself by wearing a mask when you are treating your cattle with this treatment. This prevention is to avoid any problem with irritation to your nose and mouth. This treatment will kill the lice on the cattle. Remember to use Diatomaceous Earth which contains no chlorine.
3. Organic oil
Canola oil, vegetable oil or soy oil are good choices to treat lice infestation. Repeat it many times frequently with thin coat. Rub the infected areas with the oil and the result will be satisfying. The oils rub onto the skin will smother the lice and also kill lice eggs. It will clog up lice’s pores and it will suffocate the lice. Due to lack of oxygen, the lice will die eventually.
4. White Vinegar
White vinegar can help to get rid of the lice. You should wipe your cattle with white vinegar. Though this is a good treatment but I don’t recommend you to treat it with this as it will take long process. Lice still comes back and you will spend time a lot in treating with this method.
5. High Vitamin A intake
When you provide vitamin A to maintain the health of your cow, it will help your cattle to battle the lice from within. Lice is connected with low vitamin A. So, if you feed vit. A to your cattle, the lice won’t be coming back after you treat your cattle with lice treatment. Vitamin A will be stored in liver for three months and it will strengthen immune system of your cattle.
6. Sulphur powder
You can rub the powder on your cattle skin. Dust the powder on the spine skin. And not only for external treatment, Sulphur is also need in the diet. Not only improve the coat, but it also effective against mange, ticks, fleas, lice, and mites
7. Phyrethrum powder
You can apply it directly to your cattle. It will surely kill the lice. Wear the mask if you apply it on your cattle. And this powder can be mixed with diatomaceous earth to treat your cattle.
All the methods you are using to eradicate the lice, won’t kill the eggs stuck to the animals’ hair. Hence you must repeat the process again about three weeks to kill the lice which has hatched.
During the treatment, you also should do methods below to get rid of the lice easier.
- Exposure to sunlight. Keep animals outdoor as long much as possible
- Avoid being packed in confinement
- Good quality diet
- Reduce the stress. Develop area which are stress free for your cattle
I hope 7 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Lice In Cattle will be able to give you more insight knowledge in taking care of the herds,
For more information, you can find it in 5 Things you Should Know Before Starting a Cattle Farm. Or if you have other animals as your pet, you might click in How to hold your hamster or 6 Easiest ways of caring puppy at home for beginners.