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Controlling External Parasites

Solution name: Controlling external parasites

Aim: To present best practise for controlling external parasites


    The main external parasites are

    • flystrike
    • ticks
    • lice (biting and sucking)
    • scab

    External parasites can have negative impact on

    • animal – health, welfare and performance
    • labour requirement
    • overall profit on a sheep enterprise

      How to implement:

      • Good farm biosecurity is key for controlling lice and scab
      • Keep sheep clean by crutching when necessary
      • Chemical treatments can be administered via plunge dipping or pour-ons
      • Pour-ons have become popular due to their ease of application and being less labour intense than plunge dipping

      Plunge dipping to be effective requires:

      • correct dilution and replenishing of dip
      • immerse sheep for at least 60 seconds
      • submerge the head twice
      • use personal protection equipment (PPE) and in well ventilated area

      Key messages for using pour-ons:

      • apply in dry weather (i.e. dry fleece)
      • apply to clean wool – crutch excessively dirty sheep
      • treat lambs early before fly strike is anticipated as some products only prevent flystike (insect growth regulators)
      • be aware of the withdrawal period when selecting treatment
      • use correct nozzle (different for ticks and blowfly) for even distribution of treatment on the animal’s fleece

      Topic: Health

      Production:  Dairy / Meat

      Animal Category: Adult / Lamb / Replacement

      Issue: External Parasites

      Level of Solution: Knowledge, Practical

      Country: Ireland






      Expected benefits

      Expected benefits:

      • No reduction in animal performance or welfare
      • Reduced costs for animal remedies

      Prerequisites and/or limits (knowledge, training, capabilities, cost, management, facilities, equipment, etc.)

      • For plunge dipping, dipping facilities are required

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