Ectoparasites of Livestock

Ectoparasites are responsible for economic losses to cattle and sheep producers.

Direct losses

Direct losses are a result of discomfort and damage caused by the parasites. Discomfort results in drops in milk production and retarded growth rates. Ticks, blowflies, sheep keds and mites cause direct damage to hides and wool or damage resulting from rubbing and scratching due to pruritis.

Indirect losses

Indirect losses are due to diseases transmitted by ectoparasites.

  • Tick borne diseases - Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Dermatophilosis, Theileriosis and Heart Water.
  • Flies - transmit mastitis  and keratoconjunctivitis, Trypanosomiasis and other diseases
  • Midges - transmit Bluetongue, African Horse Sickness and other diseases

For specific information on ectoparasites follow the links in the left hand navigation.

ticks on cow

Heavy tick burden on a cow

Ectoparasites are responsible for economic losses to livestock producers.