Treating mites: when, how and what chemical group

  • Cattle mites rarely cause signs that warrant treatment.
  • Lice should first be excluded by visual examination.
  • Diagnosis of mites (due to their small size) should be confirmed by a veterinarian:
    • because choice of treatment product will depend on the mite species.
    • to ensure exotic or notifiable species are identified.
  • Only treat affected animals, rather than a whole mob.
  • There are a limited number of registered products for treating mites; some off-label treatments are available under veterinary direction.

Chorioptic mange mite

Several macrocyclic lactones (MLs; ivermectin, doramectin, eprinomectin and moxidectin) are registered for use against chorioptic mange mites as pour-on or subcutaneous injection products. Topical use of ivermectin has successfully treated chorioptic mange, but multiple treatments are needed, and results have been inconsistent. In dairy cattle, the use of other drugs and acaricides is limited by the need to observe withholding periods.

Seek advice from your veterinarian before using off-label treatments.

>> More about the chorioptic mange mite.

Cattle follicle mite

Most infestations are mild and asymptomatic, and control is usually not necessary.

>> More about the cattle follicle mite.

Cattle ear mite

Subcutaneous injection and pour-on acaricides (tick treatments) are not effective in controlling this species.

Seek advice from your veterinarian about off label treatment if needed.

>> More about the cattle ear mite.

Scabies itch mite

Scabies itch mites are effectively controlled by washes, dips, or topical application of macrocyclic lactones (MLs; ivermectin, doramectin, eprinomectin and moxidectin). Check the label for directions.

>> More about the scabies itch mite.