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(520) These are relatively uncommon in herds today, particularly if mange treatment is carried out because this will also destroy the pig louse.

The life cycle

This is direct. The adult female lays 2-4 eggs per day over a period of 20-30 days. The eggs are attached to the hair by a cement like substance and they hatch out as nymphs 10-21 days afterwards. The cycle from adult to adult is approximately 30 days. They are blood sucking and cause a certain amount of irritation but their economic effects are probably relatively low. They are aesthetically however not acceptable and severe infestations can cause anaemia.


They are easily visible on the skin.


  • Lice are one of the easier conditions to eliminate from the farm. It is important to treat the whole breeding herd to break the cycle from the sow to the sucking pig. The feeding herd also has to be treated if infested.
  • Treat all the breeding herd in one operation.
  • Use either ivermectins, diazinon, lindane or deltamethrin 1%. Deltamethrin (Coopers spot-on) has long lasting effects and is used as a pour on. Two doses given ten days apart will totally eradicate lice. All medicines are ineffective against the eggs hence the necessity to treat twice.
Management control and prevention
  • Lice are the easiest disease to keep out of the herd. They will only enter on a pig.

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