Tuesday, November 17, 2009


As I mentioned before, ticks are bad this year! Even though it seems either a little early or a little late ( we have two 'tick' seasons here in the Bay Area), none-the less they are here in GREAT numbers!
I dusted all of the horses, but I don't think it is working all that well. The oldsters are still plagued, you can see where they have been biting at their sides and rubbing. Lumps on their otherwise shiny coats are telling me that the ticks are hanging in there. So I am going to dust them all again, but I have also been searching websites for other methods of tick control. 

I don't know about some of this advise... let me know what you think. 

Garlic in food.
Guinea hens or chickens.
Show sheen on the legs to make them slippery.
mowing the pasture ( it is 63 acres straight up!)
lavender oil
Avon Skin so Soft
Homemade tick sprays that include alcohol, glycerin's, tee tree oil and other ingredients.
Pymethrin and Pymethrin products. 

Of all that I think the Pymethrin products are my best bet, and they can be had fairly cheaply- $16.00 for a quart. 
Also Seven Dust- but that is pretty much what I've been using. 

We have mostly deer ticks around here, and they are known carriers of Lyme disease. Did you know horses can contract Lyme disease too? Most horses do not show symptoms, or light symptoms, but people can contract the disease from those same ticks and that can be life altering or even fatal. Horses will show lethargy, muscle soreness and intermittent lameness in different legs. 

Beside anemia, untended ticks can suck a horse nearly dry. Gruesome! But I have seen it happen!
For those of you that don't know, ( and I can't imagine that of any of you!), the best way to remove a tick is to take tweezers and grip the tick firmly at the head. Then pull it out, discard the body or bodies in a jar of alcohol. I don't think it matters if it is Gin or Whiskey- or rubbing! ( just checking to see if you are all still reading!) Don't just drop it on the ground, they are practically indestructible ( able to live through cold and even fire.)and it is a sure bet that little 'sucker' will climb right back up on your horse to get another free meal. 

 Crushing the tick while it is still attached to you or your horse ( or your dog or rat or monkey) will cause the tick to regurgitate the tick-tained blood BACK into the body ( is that yecchy or WHAT!) and that is where the bacteria will cause the harm. After the tick is removed wipe or douse the area with clean alcohol.

It takes from 12-24 hours for a tick to infect a horse with anything, but the sooner you can kill and remove the ticks the better. 
Of course with 14 horses, and about 100 ticks per horse ( I am NOT exaggerating!) I will be pulling and dousing and killing ticks for many hours. 

I guess I better keep a bottle of the alcohol ( the 100 proof stuff-vodka is my choice) for the after party. I'm gonna need a stiff drink after all that! 
If any of you have some good tick removing, killing strategies I'd LOVE to hear 'em! 
Now , where are my tweezers?


Mikey said...

Wow! I've never had ticks get bad on a horse, but we've had an issue w/them on the dogs here. And I didn't know you had 14 horses!!
I ended up spending $500 to have Truly Nolan pest control come and do my whole place. They put granules in the dirt around the house, and I can tell ya, it WORKED. WAY better this year than last year.
I hate ticks though. Hate em. Yick.

Reddunappy said...

As long as you dont get a tick like a tequila worm! LOL yeck LOL I know I am sick LOL

We dont have a bad tick problem up here in SW Washington, but we do get them.

Train Wreck said...

EWWW is right I can handle oa lot of things, but not TICKS! They freak me out. My fella has to take them off. I haven't seen them on our horses? Just the dogs & kitties.