|Abstract||Transmission of sheep lice is thought to occur mainly by sheep to sheep contact although the possibility of other sources of infestation is often suggested. This study investigated the period of survival of Bovicola ovis after removal from sheep under varying conditions and assessed the likelihood of new infestations arising from contaminated facilities, wool caught on fences and shearers' footwear.In laboratory studies with lice held away from sheep at 4, 20, 25 and 36.5 degrees C, adults and nymphs survived longest at 25 degrees C (LT90 of 11.7 and 24.1 days for adults and large nymphs, respectively). Nymphs survived longer than adults and lice provided with raw wool survived longer than lice provided with wool that had been degreased. Nymphal lice survived for up to 29 days on unscoured wool at 36.5 degrees C, but the LT50 was less than 9 days in most experiments. In shearing sheds in winter and early spring lice survived for up to 14 and 16 days, respectively. These periods of survival are considerably longer than previously indicated for B. ovis. Most lice dropped out of wool staples attached to a fence within 1 h and only two of a total of 225 lice were still present after 24 h, suggesting that sheep are unlikely to become infested from wool caught on fences. Adult and nymphal lice readily transferred to shearers' moccasins and survived there for up to 10 days, indicating that transmission of lice on the footwear of shearers or other sheep handlers may be a cause of new infestations. Microwaving each moccasin for 5 min killed all lice and may provide a simple method of reducing the likelihood of transmission of B. ovis between properties.