Lice of Livestock

Lice infestations of livestock are usually seen during winter. Lice cause intense itching resulting in damage to hides and fleece from scratching. Lice are usually host specific and can be divided into blood sucking (Anoplura) and biting (Mallophaga) lice. They spend their entire lifecycle on the host.

Sucking lice

The main sucking lice affecting cattle and sheep are:

  • Cattle
    • Linognathus vituli (the long nosed cattle louse)
    • Haematopinus eurysternus
  • Sheep
    • Linognathus pedalis (the sheep foot louse)
    • Linognathus ovillus (the blue sheep louse)

Biting lice

The main biting lice affecting cattle and sheep are:

  • Cattle
    • Damalinia bovis (Bovicola bovis)
  • Sheep
    • Damalinia ovis (Bovicola ovis)
sucking lice

Sucking lice have a narrow head and mouthparts adapted for piercing the skin.

Prof. Dr. H. Mehlhorn, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

nits

Lice eggs, known as nits are glued onto the hair of the host animal.

Prof. Dr. H. Mehlhorn, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf