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Home Rotenone and Sulfur for Cattle

Rotenone and Sulfur for Cattle

What do they treat?

√ Lice

Only registered in cattle for controlling lice on calves.

Note: ​​ √ Rotenone is especially toxic to fish and is harmful to many insects.

How can they be administered?

√ Dust / Powder

A variety of application methods for administering pesticide products to cattle are in use.


No resistance of veterinary parasites to rotenone and sulphur has been reported.

What is resistance?


Everyone working in the rural industry has a ‘duty of care’; a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for everyone on the property.

  • Available data indicates that this product is not harmful to humans.


Withholding periods are mandatory with all registered veterinary products used to treat animals for internal and external parasites.

  • Always check the product label before use for specific withholding periods (WHP) and export slaughter interval (ESI) periods. Current ESI periods can be confirmed on the APVMA website.

Rotenone and sulfur chemicals

Table 1. Rotenone and sulphur and the targeted parasites for their registered use against.

ChemicalTarget pest
WormsFlies TicksLiceMites
Rotenone and Sulfur

What are they?

Rotenone is a natural plant extract that is toxic to many insects and fish.

Sulfur is a natural mineral that has been used for centuries as insecticide and fungicide in agriculture and veterinary medicine.

How do they work?

Rotenone is a broad spectrum, contact, non-systemic chemical that is effective against lice on calves.

Sulfur is a non-systemic, contact insecticide.

A mixture of sulfur and rotenone is more efficient at killing lice than sulfur alone.

Rotenone blocks the oxidative phosphorylation in the cell mitochondria, which disturbs the production of ATP, the cellular “fuel”. This impairs the parasites motility and probably other processes as well. This mechanism is not insect-specific but common to all living organisms.

Sulfur acts as a metabolic disruptor in insects, interfering with the transport of substances into or between cells and altering their ability to produce energy. Sulfur also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Rotenone is quickly broken down by sunlight so the residual effect of topical products is short.

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