Lice and mites of horses

Which types of lice can affect horses?

Lice on horses; an irritating problem for the horse as well as its owner. Horses do not like the itch and therefore you see them trying all sorts of ways to get rid of the itch. Unfortunately this does not affect the lice and the horses develop chafe marks, in serious cases until they bleed. Baroque horses are more affected by lice than any others. This has a very simple explanation: they have a longer coat in which the lice like to hide. There are two different sorts of lice which can affect horses; the sucking louse ‘Haematopinus asini’ and the biting louse ‘Werneckiella equi’. In addition, horses can also be affected by the leg scabies mite.

The bloodsucking louse of horses (Haematopinus asini)

The sucking louse on horses can be recognised by the larger body of the louse that is larger than his head. This sucking louse feeds himself on horses’ blood and feeds mainly on the horses’ tail and mane.

The biting louse of horses (Werneckiella equi)

The biting louse is the more active of the two. These lice are much more active and move more through the horses’ coats. You can recognise these lice because their heads are larger than their bodies. They live mainly at the ribs, neck, withers and breast. They can live up to 4 to 5 weeks once they get onto the horse. They cannot eat in the stable or paddock, so if they fail to get onto a horse, they will starve to death within a few days.

Mites of horses (leg scabies mite)

When a horse is affected by mites, you often see the horse stamping its legs or biting its socks. Mites live mainly on horses’ socks with much hair, especially in baroque horses. These mites are also called leg scabies mite.

Lifecycle lice of horses

Lifecycle lice of horses

How do you recognise lice and mites on horses?

When your horse is affected by lice or mites you will see that the horse has an itch. This itch can occur anywhere on the body. When it concerns the sucking louse, your horse will mainly chafe at its mane and tail. When it is the biting louse, your horse will mainly chafe its ribs, withers and neck. You can also see white dots in the coat; these are the eggs (nits). In the case of mites, the horse will try to bite into its socks or you will see the horse stamping its feet.



Unfortunately lice and mites in horses are infectious. This means that one horse can transmit lice to other horses. This happens especially in winter.

Diagnosing lice

Diagnosing lice

Usually you can assess yourself whether or not you horse has lice and/or mites, certainly when you find the white dots (nits) in the coat. If you are unsure, consult your vet to make sure your horse is suffering with a mites problem.

Lice season

Lice season

Lice on the horses occur mainly in the winter. Horses have a thick winter coat which lice like a lot because it's warm and comfy. If your horse is very itchy during the summer, this can be caused by summer itch (sweet itch) or an allergy to flies

Why is it so difficult to eradicate lice on horses?

Because lice and mites hide in the horse’s coat, they are not only difficult to spot; it is also difficult to get at them with washes or sprays. Also, some pesticides are effective in eradicating lice, but they do not remove the eggs. When these eggs hatch, you will still have lice to deal with. It is also possible for lice to hide in the horse’s stable or canopy. If you have not treated these, it is still possible for the lice to get onto the horse.

Finecto+ Horse, the solution for lice, mites and horse flies of horses

With Finecto+ Horse it is possible to make the blood of horses unattractive to lice. Without food, lice can survive only for a few days. After a week you will see that the itchyness is getting much lighter and in the end it will disappear. Finecto+ Horse is a powder that can easily be mixed into the horse's food. It is 100% natural and does not have any harmful effect on the horses. The active ingredients consist of a herb mixture.

The Finecto+ products have been developed in principle for birds and chickens. Experience has shown however that the Finecto+ products can also be used for problems with lice and mites in other animals, including horses. The Finecto+ Protect spray is ideal for making stables louse-free and for itchy horses when they suffer from summer itch and mud fever. It has also been shown that Finecto+ Horse makes horses’ blood unattractive to lice, mites and other insects.