Confused about Treatment of Lice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by myfivegirls, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. myfivegirls

    myfivegirls Songster

    Jan 12, 2009
    Delhi, NY
    Okay, I've read many, many of the posts about treatment of chicken lice here on BYC and on other internet sources.
    But, it's kind of confusing, such as, some people say one works better than the other or don't use this or that type.

    Most sources mention these products to treat infestations of lice:

    Sevin dust / Carbaryl
    Permethrin /Pyrethrium
    Eprinex/ Ivomectin

    Some other sources mention:
    Dog flea spray/bath dip (Adams)

    Most sources mention egg withdrawal time of 10-14 days, while others don't even mention it, and others say that you can eat the eggs when using Ivermectin "because it can be used for humans."

    When I just did a google search for "Ivermectin for lice" -
    the first result was about "Drug-Resistant Lice Respond Better to Ivermectin" in a human dermatology article;
    and the next 9 where about using Ivomec for human head lice
    the 11th result was from (UK source) which stated:

    PHARMAQ Ivermectin Drops are sold under the Small Animal Exemption Scheme for use in rabbits, Guinea Pigs and ornamental birds. Products licensed under the Small Animal Exemption Scheme are not licensed for use in food producing animals such as chickens and it is for that reason that there is no information relating to the withdrawal period for eggs or meat following use of Ivermectin Drops on poultry.Where there is a licenced alternative, vets should be prescribing the licenced product. To treat worms - Flubenvet is the (only) licenced in feed product.

    In the absence of licensed alternatives, veterinarians do sometimes prescribe this product for poultry under their own clinical judgement to treat mites, lice and worms in poultry. However, it is only a veterinarian who can advise on such use and it would breach of the veterinary medicines regulations and NOAH code of practice by supporting, or encouraging the use of this product on a non-target species. It is for this reason that we are not recommending you use Ivermectin for this purpose unless it is prescribed by your Vet.

    I also found these sources that said that deal with Ivomec/ Ivermectin:

    As far as Sevin dust, some people say it works great, and other say it's hard to apply and doesn't work as effectively.
    From experience with dusting the chickens with DE, it's not something that's easy to get in between the feathers.
    Permethrin and Pyrethrium are also mentioned, but I think they're powered, too.

    The other thing is that I'm trying to do "deep litter" for winter warmth, adding cleaning bedding and "stirring it up" when needed.
    So, I don't want to remove all the litter (which will go on the compost pile in the chicken yard), and many sources say that lice don't live in the environment (although mites do).
    I've added DE to the nesting boxes, roosts, bedding, dusting bath tub in the coop, but I know that's only a prevenative, not a cure.

    So, it's hard to know what I should do, since everything has their pros and cons.
    I'd prefer to use something that we could continue to eat the eggs from the girls, since they've only been laying a little over a month.
    On the other hand, if I have to, I'd rather do it now and do prevenative from now on, for both external and internal parasites.

    Just one more thing, while I do see lice and lice eggs on the pullets
    (most likely came from 4 RIR hens got from another person back in April who I didn't confine and/or treat for lice),
    they are laying great *, seem to be eating great and otherwise very healthy.
    (* 4 RS=4 egg/day; 3 EE = 2-3/day; 4 Wy = 2-4/day)

    Thanks for the advice. I know I need to do something, but not sure what method to use.​

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Eprinex is the way to go. It's expensive... very expensive if you are buying it in small quantities which is what you'll need. That is its only downside. No egg or meat withdrawal time. Works on both internal and external parasites.
    Sevin is also something I used to use a lot of, but switched over after discovering Eprinex. Sevin is really toxic and I HATE dusting birds. I feel like I inhale enough of it to half-poison myself in the process of trying to poison the bugs. It's very effective, but a mess to use and I don't feel safe using it around the food I am going to be feeding my family (eggs).
    The rest I can't comment on because I haven't used them enough. I use Permethrin around my garden and have used it in my coop, but not long-term. I use Ivermectin on other animals, but not my chickens, so I really don't know much about them in relation to chickens.
    Hope this helps. Just my two cents. Good luck.
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I sevin on them for the first round and on the first chicken gave myself a good dusting also. For the rest of the chickens I poked them all except their heads into a pillowcase with seven in it an dusted them that way. Decided to get some pour on ivomec for the second treatment. Heavens it was so much easier. And I still ate the eggs. Figure it is less harmful than those McDonald meals everybody eats. You put such a small amount on the chicken that the amount passing to the egg really cannot be much.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The other posters are correct- if you dust the birds, you inhale a LOT of the poison, no matter how careful you are. I personally like Eprinex too, although I used it for mites not lice.

    Also- my hubby made me throw the eggs away for 3 weeks, but there is no meat or milk withdrawal indicated for it. I would have chosen to eat the eggs.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010

  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    No matter if eprinex, sevin dust, ivermectin, DE and all the others are used...they are all chemicals designed to do a specific job and all have drawbacks (some more than others) but I try to to use the one that is most advantageous at the moment. For example; if I just wormed my chickens with safeguard and just so happened to find lice on them, I would not treat them with ivermectin or eprinex because I just used a wormer on them. I'd use sevin dust. I also use the product that best suits the need and kills the external parasite immediately...IMO, sevin dust. I'm going to have to use sevin dust in their house and nests anyway, I'm not going to spray ivermectin or eprinex in there, they would be ineffective because that is not their intended use, not to mention a waste of money of the products sevin dust is needed. I save the wormers for just that...worming. DE I use for what it does best...keeping everything dry because of high humidity here. IMO you have to use a little common sense in protecting yourself regarding usage of these chemicals for yourself and chickens. Use the best for what suits your needs, but also use the one that does its job the quickest for the safety, health and welfare of your chickens....the alternative is not to do anything and they will eventually die. I observe withdrawal periods as well no matter who says it's safe to eat eggs or the chicken. There's always the possibility of a person being sensitive to the product, however so slight, and could possibly have an adverse reaction. Remember, we are dealing with poisons to kill parasites. I use them only when needed, not so much as a preventative. It also helps avoiding parasite immunity issues.
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Yes- I agree.

    Very well put. I used Sevin dust to retreat for mites, not the Eprinex again. Sorry I should have said that. Thanks Dawg53!
  7. ChickenFamilyof5

    ChickenFamilyof5 Chirping

    Dec 3, 2009
    i used Ivomectin on my birds and it worked awsome. Used 2 treatments a couple weeks apart and absolutly no signs of bugs. I could only find the small injectible form(expensive). !st time i used it topical, 2 drops per bird. The second round I gave it to them oarlly. On a small crumb of bread. Very easy and worked like a charm, and still have lots left.

  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Dont worry ChickensAreSweet everything is cool, I was really responding to myfivegirls post. You and the other posters are all very knowledgable in regards to this thread. Thanks!

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