THE sensational results obtained by military authorities in the use of DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) for the control of the human louse led the writer to investigate its value in the control of the chicken body louse (Eomenacanthus stramineus). The reported persistency of the killing power of this new chemical gave promise of its being superior to the commonly used sodium fluoride.
The only published results regarding the use of DDT for the control of chicken lice were issued by Telford (1944) in which he compared the efficacy of DDT, sodium fluoride and nicotine dust. From observations, continued a maximum of 52 hours after treatment, he concluded that DDT was as effective as sodium fluoride against the common body louse and shaft louse of the chicken…
The results of this experiment indicated that DDT in concentrations up to 10 percent and in the form available to the writer does not afford the chicken any better protection than is provided by the standard sodium fluoride. A 3 percent concentration was not so effective as sodium fluoride. The DDT did not protect the bird from reinfestation after 2 or 3 weeks which is the approximate life cycle of the chicken body louse. Where all birds of the flock were treated, both 3 percent DDT and sodium fluoride seemed to give fairly effective control of lice.
Telford, H. S., 1944. Chicken louse control. Soap and Sanitary Chemicals 20: 113.