Protecting equines from ticks during the fall is a topic worth investing some time and interest. Adult black-legged ticks and deer ticks remain active during fall. Ticks that hatch their eggs in the fall often lay eggs in leaves, leaf mulch, and dry brush, and can deposit up to 3000 eggs in a breeding cycle.
In the fall ticks often hide in the fallen leaves that so colorfully cover the ground all around. Although it can be tempting to avoid raking the leaves so as to enjoy their beauty for a while, let’s also be savvy enough to realize those leaves could be hiding unwanted ticks. Leaf piles and leaf mulch should not be allowed to accumulate.
Ticks expend very little energy hunting. They do what is known as “questing”, which is simply hanging out and waiting for a meal to come by. Horses are perfect targets and as soon as a tick is on a horse, they are striving to find a spot to feast. Ticks need blood to survive during every stage of their life cycle, except when they enter a new developmental stage or are laying or fertilizing eggs.
While most ticks may appear absent during the colder months, that does not mean they die off. They simply go into diapause, a period of inactivity characterized by a low metabolic rate that is just high enough to keep them alive.
Some types of ticks may slow down when it gets colder, others are just getting started. A lot of the risk depends on the species of ticks you are dealing with and your region of the country. It is therefore good to be knowledgeable about the areas in where you keep and ride horses.
Ticks should be considered as a year-round health threat with fall being recognized as a major tick season. It’s wise to realize that they remain a threat as long as temperatures are above freezing.
With tick-borne diseases rampantly spreading throughout the US at alarming rates - horses, livestock and pets need to be considered when orchestrating protection for your family, home, and property.
Horses that may incur exposure to ticks should be routinely checked over for ticks, especially after activities such as trail rides. Looking for ticks on horses requires using both your eyes and your hands. It is always best to examine your horse systematically, starting at the nose and working backward to the tail.
If a tick is found attached to a horse, it is best to remove them using a Tick Twister rather than trying to pull them out with your fingers.
Press release provided by Shelly Black, Founder,Ticks-Off Non-Toxic Tick Deflector Spray