How Lice Reproduce

In the fall, as temperatures begin to drop and cattle hair coats thicken, louse populations begin to increase.

Depending on several factors, including temperature, the nits hatch into baby lice or nymphs in 9 to 21 days. In about 21 more days the nymphs mature into adults. The adults live for about 25 days. The females generally deposit 1 or 2 nits every day of their adult life. Although each female may deposit only 30 to 40 nits during her lifespan we must not forget that mortality rates are low. Each nit is glued to a hair in a very favorable microclimate with an endless food supply immediately available upon hatching.

How can lice cause damage to your farm?

Damage to Cattle
  • hair loss
  • body heat loss
  • abortions
  • anemia
  • open sores
  • reduction in sperm count
  • lower birth weights
  • decreased milk production
  • inability to gain weight

Damage to Property

  • damage to fences and equipment
  • increased rubbing and scratching