r . . .
E-447 ITS.:uue' .September 193c
(Revised) Revised February 194,
United States Department oi A.rl':lilture
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
in Cooperation with the
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station
THE CONTROL OF CATTLE LICE l/
By 0. G. Babcock and E W. [Laoke.
Division of Insects Affecting ;;a,, and Animals
Cattle are subject tc infestation by -e.er.K species of li-'.
Texas three species are common.. TVw-, of these, t.h I ',nn -r c.,:c1 c, I'.. 'C. .,
or so-called blue louse (Linogna__hus vituli :T nil 'hc :rn,:1-. '.-'r
cattle louse 2/ (Hacmatopinus eurysternus (Ni t7sch L ha'.ve s'.cm-'in.z monll.
parts and obtain their food by drawing blood 'rrn. thr host animrral T;;
last-named louse is much larger than the other species and appear .-e i
more resistant than other cattle lice to ordinary app2icap.tions cf xnseci--
cides. It has the habit of congregating in patches ?'- the neck :le'la':
head, pol!-, ears, tail, escutcheon, etc. Sevpr.' 1 1he large e.lewis,
eggs are attached to each hair. Considerable areas may he covered wit,
these eggs. Upon hatching, the young lice so,' attach to thp skir 1nd
remain relatively quiet until they are fuJ l-grc',.'i,. at which h time they
begin crawling about, mate. and seek new locations or hosts The ,other
species, the biting, or so-called red louse of cattle (Bovicola bo.n.
(L.)), has mouth parts fitted for chewing and obtains, its food by grn,,,inr
at the skin's surface. One or all species of lice m.ay be present or, ralvec
or cows at any given time and may seriously retard the growth of calves
Lice may be found upon almost any part of the animal In heavy infestatioiis
the entire body is i.P.ely to be affected. Blue li.- are easily seen.
white or light-colored skin of cattle: they are r.-nsptclious on the nr :C
or face of cattle of the Hereford breed.
Cattle lice do not live apart from the :o.st. i,. pens or posTu.re .
but spend their entire lives on the animals. They pass from on" host
to another readily ;-her. the animals come in contact4 with each other W'he.!-
a lousy animal is rubbed by arctber the sexually mature lice instincti'.'ely
move outward on the hair and may attach themselves to the hair of any c..,
or c-alf that comes in direct contact with the ho7.1 a.nimal. III this '.'inv
young calves become infested.1 very sor. after birth When lice find o n."
host they crawl about for a time. hut soon settle rown' to feed and reprodu,,r.
The eggs arep attached firmly fo the hairs, ard thn younF lice that hit,.
from them resemble the adults but are light colored.
I/ Prepared especially for 4-H Club Members.
.-*. 2. Sometimes known locally as the gray louse or the black louse
:.'here large numbers of cattle or calves are to be treated, dipping to
is recommended, but where only a few are involved, as is generally the
case with animals under the care of 4-H Club members, other methods are
simpler and more economical. The most practical of these '.ethcds for
4-H Club members appears to be the application of powdered insecticides
Derris and cube pov.dsr .ontaining 5 percent of rotenone are probably
the most efficient insecticides for the destruction of all species of
lice on cattle. The powder should be diluted in the proportion of 1 to
10 with some material like kaolin, wh-at flour, talc, or 325-mesh wettable
sulfur. A sufficient amount of the mixture should be used to dust the
animal thoroughly. The quantity required will vary with the size of the
a.-i ral. The powder should be applied evenly over the body and well rubbed
in by hand on all hairy parts of the animal, including the tail. Although
this mixture will not kill all the eggs of cattle lice, it appears to be
considerably more efficient in this respect than insecticides formerly
recommended. When an insecticide does not have good egg-killing properties
ai.d more than one treatment is required to control the insects, it is
desirable to space the interval between treatments to coincide as closely
as possible with the incubation period of the eggs. With the wettable
sulfur and cube or derris powder mixture, usually one treatment, or two
treatments given 12 to 14 days apart, will rid an animal of the long-nosed
and red lice; but if the short-nosed cattle louse is also present the best
procedure is to give two treatments separated by an interval of 17 or 18
Cays. After the second trea;.r:ent the animals should be examined frequently.
and if live lice are found a third treatment should follow the second in
about 18 Cays. Another schedule of treating which has given good results
where all three kinds of lice are present is:
Second treatment 12 to 14 days after first.
Third treatment 17 to 21 days after first.
Wettable sulfur that will pass through a 325-mesh screen, or finer,
used by itself, is effective in killing the long-nosed cattle louse and
the red louse when thoroughly dusted and rubbed into the hair. One or two
pounds of the sulfur is required per animal, and it should be applied dry.
Two applications, 12 to 14 days apart, are usually necessary, but sometimes
one treatment will rid an animal of these species.
Commercial sodium fluoride applied as a powder in the same way as
,Corris, at the rate of 1 to 2 ounces per animal, is effective for killing
biting lice. It may also be applied as a ,vash, using 1 ounce to a gallon
of water. This material is poisonous and therefore should not be allowed
to Let into drinking water or feed. Also it should not be applied closely
arcun.-l natural openings in the body and head of animals, and care should
be taken not to apply it too freely.
- 2 -
Dipping and Spraying
Wettable sulfur plus cube or deirris--- pL,.'.der (c.,'!,i .ii,. i. c .-
than 5 percent of roi ,ce), at th.-: rate of 100 p. ,:.'..s of sulf'0r ai.d 10
pounds of cube or derris to 1,000 gallc.., of 1ater, .... a ip, i
control biting an', sicLir.g cattle lice'. PreviL-.'sly it I.::, bCe cnsi,'..-red
that under normal .iti ..the ii.-.,cticic..al p.tent.' of the u .. or dez: .: .
powder in this dip deterioatz's rapidly after 5 i..' c ,. :. I.:.t it .5.;.
necessary to add aLoth..r charge of this material to i.- dip if it -: .
exposed loi.ger than this pcricd. It has beei f,.-.- rC-.c.tly, t..., er, ',at
in the vicinity of Dallas anjA Fort Worth, Te;:., durii.g l:L months ofNov r.,.er
and December cube pc,.,'er in the dip does :,,t l-..se its t;ft : :. .iC-ckl
as formerly supposed. All the mo ile foriim:s of loig- ai.d short--i...l,:I cattle
lice were killed ii- a dip that was ex-/posed for 18 days i,, a i eular dipping
vat, and in which several hundred animals hod been dipped.
,'ettable sulfur, v.whei, i.sed al-:ie as a dip at the rate of i_`O to I.:0
pounds to 1,O0O galloi.s of water, will cuitrol the lor.g.-iused title e ivibe
and the red louse.
Arsenical dip is also effective in l.illiiig both biti,,ng and long-u.,.'.J
sucking cattle lice whe,. used in a regular Oipping vat, Ti-ic- -. sl,.-'.:d
test 0.18 to 0.20 of 1 percrint of water-soluble arsenic.3/ TIn c. whe-e
animals are i',fested ",iLo short-nose4 as well as lo.g-..n.- ',.'. biting
lice the best results '.'ith )rser.ical cip .re obtained when all infeste'J
cattle are dipped at least three times at intervals of 15 to 16 z3s.
Special care should be t ii ot to allow livesto1 to
to the vat or the dip except in the regular course of 4p', as the
animals are likely to drink the dip and become poisoned.
Where it is iecQ ary to treat only a fov, cuirr.a!3, Ly .u:a be
thoroughly sprayed v':ih a szluticn containing the same i::, :-..ts 3 1.,: i:.
the same proportion as -ihc- used in the .i4s. :.'., arsenic:l dip is
sprayed, care should Lc tahen that ,c.ither the aniJi.-l nor the ..ePrator
breathes the spray. The operator should 1 also be car-.ful .t to -,t his
clothing wet with the spray.
The number of treatments and the interval 'Let'.'een them .,_I'uld be
the same in dipping or spra,-ji.g animals as these reccme;.JeJ ,.,-i.r "Ha id
3/ For details co;,cerninri arsenical diuping, see -armers' Bulletii.
909, U. S. Department of '.grioulture, "Cattle Lice a:id Ho:." to Lruicate
Them," by Marion Imes.
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