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Ectoparasites - Seasonal Variation in Infestations

Ticks and flies, both of which spend a significant part of their life cycles off the sheep, are most active in warm months. Mites, lice, and keds, on the other hand spend all their time on the host. The skin surface provides a favorable habitat for these ectoparasites year round, especially in the winter months when wool is thickest and more protection is provided against the drying action of sunlight.