The effect of tick infestation on an animal is quite obvious, adult ticks in numbers look like a bunch of grapes, and can cause damage to skin and deer velvet, irritation and anaemia, and even death in young animals Although they are called Cattle Tick, these little bloodsuckers can be found on any species of animal. Transmission from neighbouring properties is likely to occur via wandering animals such as dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs etc. Ticks go through three stages in their lifecycle. After hatching from eggs on the pasture they go through a larval stage, a nymphal stage and finally an adult stage. At each of these stages, ticks spend up to about a week on a host feeding before dropping off to develop to the next stage, and in fact spend very little of their lifetime actually feeding on a host, probably as little as 5%. Ticks therefore are a year round problem. When inspecting deer for ticks check around head, in ears and on velvet as they are infected while grazing or under abdomen and on legs. You can also drag a light coloured blanket or towel across paddocks where you suspect ticks to be and check for them on the material. This is an easy way of determining areas of the farm that may be more heavily infested. Ticks may be more active in warm humid conditions. Affected deer can be treated with Bayticol Pour-on, which is effective at killing ticks on the animal and will give some protective effect for about three weeks. Spray-on insecticides may be used but will not give as long a protection as the pour-on. Grazing affected areas with sheep to get a vacuum cleaner effect, can aid control. Run the sheep through the infected pasture then take them off and treat with an appropriate tickicide. Done several times this will help reduce numbers on the pasture. Heavily affected pasture may need to be turned over and regrassed. Be careful where you are buying animals from and if you suspect a problem treat them before introduction to your property.