Time is Ticking…….
Well, the ticks are back in numbers and it is a great time to treat your animals before the life cycle repeats itself over summer. These little blood-suckers are not discriminating when it comes to which animal they feed from and large burdens can cause significant anaemia in young animals. In order to control the problem, the first thing to understand is the lifecycle of this tenacious parasite.
Ticks are only easily killed when on the animal so this is not possible in the cold winter months when the nymphs are dormant in the grass. Spring is the perfect time of year to apply a product aimed at killing ticks as they try to attach to your stock. Some animals are allergic to the anticoagulant the ticks inject while feeding and valuable grazing time is often spent rubbing on gates and fences to relieve the itch. Products such as Bayticol are applied as a pour on and have persistent activity for 3-6 weeks on cattle. It is important to treat all animals on the property if possible including deer and horses to avoid continued cycling of the ticks. Permoxin can be diluted and sprayed on the animals but may need to be applied more frequently. Ripcord is also liscensed for use on cattle to control ticks. Ear tags can be used for deer, as an alternative to pour ons or spraying.
To fully eradicate ticks is near impossible but smaller farms can be tick free if these control measures are carried out on all stock for at least 2 seasons.