Sarcoptic mange and lice are considered the primary external parasites in U.S. pork production. Mites burrowing through the skin cause a character-istic itching or rubbing and a reddish skin color.

During the period from Dec. 1, 1999 to May 31, 2000, 50.1 percent of pork production sites used some type of external parasite treatment program, according to USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System swine survey. Mange or lice treatment occurred most often on sites with either breeding females or boars.

Overall, 36.9 percent of breeding females and 46.6 percent of boars were on sites treated for mange or lice. More “small” operations treated weaned pigs for mange or lice than medium or large sites. A small site was defined as 2,000 animals or less, a medium-sized site was defined as 2,000 to 9,999 animals and a large site was defined as greater than 100,000 animals.

The active ingredients most commonly used on swine included Peperonyl butoxide and Malathion. NAHMS officials suggest that personnel on all sized operations should examine hogs periodically for internal and external parasites.