How to Kill Lice on Goats

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Lice are a common problem on goats nearly everywhere. The signs and symptoms are obvious: incessant itching, restless behavior and general irritability frequently point to lice infestation. A multitude of substances can kill lice, but choosing one that is effective as well as safe is the key to successfully treating lice on your goats.

Controlling Lice On Goats

  • Address environmental problems that may be encouraging lice infestations. Areas where goats eat and sleep should have fresh hay and bedding. Clean this space regularly.

  • Thin your herd or give your animals more space. Herds that are too dense for the amount of land available will spread lice more quickly.

  • Brush your goats every two weeks, if possible, for upkeep and observation. Shave them when temperatures are warm enough.

  • Treat infested goats with a safe, effective chemical like coumaphos for lice management. Mix according to the manufacturer's directions and apply to affected goats. Be mindful of goats that are pregnant or lactating, as well as those intended for slaughter in the near future, as coumaphos and several other chemical lice treatments may adversely affect goats in these situations.

  • Treat your goats with a natural substance like diatomaceous earth (DE), a powder made of aquatic plant fossils that fatally dehydrates insects such as lice. Add food-grade DE to your goats' diet for ongoing natural lice prevention.

Tips & Warnings

  • Constant chemical treatments lead to resistant pests over time, so a long-term preventive plan is essential to effectively control lice.
  • Chemicals used for treating lice can be dangerous, so use them with caution. Communicate with a trusted veterinarian whenever you are unsure how to proceed with your goats.

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