Defending Livestock Against Ticks

There are two forms of ticks, a hard tick and a soft tick. Both affect domestic livestock; however, the spinose ear tick, soft, is guilty of plaguing cattle. Dr. Harlan captured this image while using a video otoscope. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Jered Harlan)

By Jessica Crabtree and Dr. Jered Harlan 

Livestock owners may have noticed an increase in external parasites this year. Farmers, ranchers and veterinarians agree we were blessed with a steady rain supply which aided populations, and, in turn, equaled no consistent, long dry spell. Some even speculate the vast difference in seasons as a contributing factor. In all, the population of external parasites such as flies, fleas and ticks has been on the rise.Livestock owners may have noticed an increase in external parasites this year.

Farmers, ranchers and veterinarians agree we were blessed with a steady rain supply which aided populations, and, in turn, equaled no consistent, long dry spell. Some even speculate the vast difference in seasons as a contributing factor. In all, the population of external parasites such as flies, fleas and ticks has been on the rise.Defined, a tick is a small arachnid that is part of the order Parasitiformes.

Ticks, along with mites, constitute the subclass Acari and are ectoparasites, meaning that it lives by feeding on the blood of its host, such as a mammal, bird, even reptiles and amphibians. That notion being understood, ticks act as a serious vector for disease transmitted to both humans and animals. The tick is known for transferring more, and a larger variety of infectious organisms, than any other blood sucking arthropod.

To read more pick up a copy of the November 2017 NTFR issue. To subscribe call us at 940-872-5922.