According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the cattle tail louse is the most damaging species of lice in Florida. With repetitive treatment methods, their spread in the herd can be maintained. While still tiny, it’s the largest louse species found on cattle, and it packs quite a punch. Protect your herd, and your profits, by learning about the dangers of the tail louse and how to treat them. For more cattle care information, visit our blog page.
Cattle tail lice were first found in Florida in 1945. Since then, they’re made themselves known as a substantial pest in the subtropical regions of the United States.
Adult tail lice are commonly found on the last 18 inches of the tail and lay their eggs all over the tail. In severe infestations, you can also find adults and eggs in the cattle’s ears. Eggs hatch in 9 days in optimal temperatures but can take 40 or more days in the wintertime to hatch. This can cause a buildup of eggs on the tail during the winter months.
When the eggs hatch, they migrate to the muzzle, eye, and vulva areas to feed on blood. As they progress through their growth stages, they might migrate to the shoulders, neck, or anal region.
Animals infested with lice and not treated lost an average of five pounds in the test period, while those treated gained 18 to 21 pounds. Those dairy cows not treated also showed an 8.3 percent drop in milk production. Cattle tail lice cause anemia, blood and weight loss, and even loss of pregnancy.
Self-treatment insecticides are effective in maintaining control over lice populations but should be applied every three weeks, concentrating on the spring and fall. Continuous use of a dust bag or backrubber are also effective methods of lice control. To visit us and see how we do things here, check out an agritour.
At Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, we take pride in taking care of our animals and passing on that vitality to you in our products. Visit our website to learn more about our operation.