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Home News Feature articles Combatting Lice in Sheep and Goats: A Look Into LiceBoss Tools

Combatting Lice in Sheep and Goats: A Look Into LiceBoss Tools

28 Mar 2023

The LiceBoss tools are designed to assist you with the management and eradication of lice within your production system. Each tool has been specifically designed to provide advice to help deal with the main contributing factors to lice infestation on farm. Below you will find a summary and introduction to each tool. Some or maybe all will be relevant to your production system.

Lice treatment for breeding ewes and their lambs

Treatment of ewes about to lamb or with lambs at foot makes eradication on farm more difficult.

This tool is only for use after you have decided to treat breeding ewes. It suggests the type of treatment for the ewes and considers whether their lambs may also require treatment.

If you have lice in your breeding ewes with lambs at foot, please click here.

Lice treatment decision guide

The Lice treatment decision guide will help you determine the source of your infection on farm and give recommendations on treating your flock. For more information, please click here.

Long Wool lice tool

This program is for use when some mobs are affected by lice and may need treatment before shearing.

It uses the current level of wool damage to estimate the wool damage that might occur if the sheep are not treated. This is compared with the costs of treatment that could be used.

The user can then decide if it is worth treating the sheep or leaving them untreated until shearing.

Long wool treatment will not eradicate lice, so even if sheep are treated before shearing, they will also need treatment after shearing.

The program uses the proportion of the flock that is now rubbing to estimate the progress of wool damage. Rubbing can be due to a variety of causes, so if lice have not been detected, then it is essential to check whether rubbing is due to other causes.

If in doubt, use the Rubbing Tool to check whether the rubbing is due to lice or some other cause.

For more information, please click here.

Sheep Rubbing Tool

The rubbing assessment allows users to determine the cause (or causes) of rubbing in their sheep. However, it is also used by the Short Wool assessment and the Long Wool assessment to determine specifically whether Lice are the cause of rubbing in that particular case.

For short wool assessment, the result (probability of lice), is used by the Short Wool assessment calculations.

The Long Wool assessment does not use the result directly, although that program does assume that the rubbing is due to lice. The result will not be correct if it is due to other causes.

Treatment Factors Tool

This tool works through your method of treatment, asking about some of the issues that could lead to treatment failure. This may be useful if you are not sure whether your treatment was good enough to eradicate lice, or if you have had a treatment failure and want to check where it might have been inadequate. If you use different methods for different groups of sheep, then evaluate each method separately.

The program calculates the probability of eradication of lice if they were present. It does not attempt to estimate whether lice were actually present or not. Use the Short Wool Lice Tool to assess the risk that the flock had lice.

For more information, please click here.

Short wool lice tool

This program helps to assess whether sheep should be treated after shearing. It estimates the probability that the flock is infested with lice at shearing by separately estimating the risk that:

  • lice were present at the last shearing but were not eradicated
  • lice entered with purchased rams, ewes or other stock
  • lice entered on stray sheep

For some screens, you can indicate in the first question that there are no relevant sheep in that category and skip further questions on that screen

For more information, click here.

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