Ectoparasites of sheep in Britain include the tick Ixodes ricinus, the blowfly, Lucilia sericata, the ked, Melophagus ovinus and the lice, Damalinia ovis and Linognathus ovillus. The most important ectoparasite, however, is the mite Psoroptes communis ovis which causes sheep scab. This notifiable disease was eradicated from Britain in 1952 but was reported again in 1973. The control of ectoparasites depends largely on the efficient application of insecticide to the fleece and skin. Plunge dipping in a bath is generally regarded as the most efficient method and is compulsory for the control of sheep scab but it is not always the most convenient. After the eradication of sheep scab in 1952 plunge dipping was no longer compulsory and jetting, spraying and showering techniques were then employed for the other ectoparasites.
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