Cattle can be infected with a range of ectoparasites and nuisance pests, which can negatively affect cattle welfare and cause production losses.
Lice and mites permanently reside on cattle, numbers tending to increase during the housing period due to frequent close contact between cattle and thicker coats offering protection. Infestations cause itching and hair loss, with self-inflicted trauma encouraging secondary bacterial infection.
Ticks are only present on cattle for a short time during blood-feeding. Their bites can cause significant health problems due to hypersensitivities and transmission of protozoan and bacterial diseases.
Exposure to biting and nuisance flies disrupts normal cattle grazing behaviours and reduces feed intake through restless behaviour.