Ask any horse owner what they hate the most while taking care of their horses. I assume that the majority of them will say – ‘Ticks!’ Ticks are not exactly considered as insects, but they are entirely related to spiders and scorpions. Getting rid of them is a tough job and preventing them from coming back is the toughest. They are capable enough to spread the infections and may cause significant health problems for your beloved furry friends.
You can find many species of ticks in nature, especially on the stems of vegetation. Not all, but some of them are really attracted to the horses. For example, the tropical horse tick or the moose tick stuck on a horse and can spend their entire life span on the same one! It is known as one or single-host ticks. Thus, it is essential to get rid of them as soon as you are aware. Being a horse owner, you can also prevent any interaction of ticks by taking proper care of your horses and the place they live.
How to Keep Ticks Off Horses
Find The Ticks
Keeping away ticks from your horses is indeed a difficult task. But, daily observations and timely body checkups can make it easy. The earlier you know about the ticks, the fastest you can get it cured. First thing first, never forget to check your horses. Rub your hands on your horse’s body and look for the little bumps. Look closer and know whether it is a tick or just the boil. The most common spots where you can find the ticks are horse’s head, throatlatch, ears, mane, and tail.
Clean The Living Area
The frequency of ticks depends on your living area. Some areas are more exposed to ticks. On average, it is widespread that almost all horses have ticks once in their lifespan. To prevent the interaction of your horses and the annoying ticks, keep the stable clean. The best way to stop tick stimulation activity is to start taking care of the horse’s surroundings.
Keep The Grazing Area Dry
Being a horse owner, most of the time, you may not know that your horse is already exposed to the ticks. There is no visible sign of infestation. Generally, when the horses go for the grazing, they pick up the ticks from the grass, stems, or plants. So, it is essential to keep the grazing area dry to avoid the production of ticks.
Sunlight helps a lot to get rid of ticks. Sun is an enemy of these little monsters. Take your horses to the areas where they can get enough sun exposure every day. You can also clean and redesign their existing barn to provide them more sunlight.
Keep The Wild Animals Away
Many species of ticks use other animals, such as deers, to travel from one place to another. So, even if you want to help the trespassing animals, keep them far away from the horses. If it is not possible, check them thoroughly before letting them meet your horse folks.
Keep The Tick-hunters Near
Birds like chicken may help you to scarf down the ticks. Try to develop a friendly atmosphere between the hens and horses, and they will pluck out the ticks from the horse’s fur. You can consider the guinea hens as the tick hunters. Keep their coops near the horse barn. This way, you can serve two purposes. They will help you to get rid of ticks, and you will also get the eggs!
Sprays And Repellents
There is one another method that may reduce ticks. You can spray tick-repellents on the stable and all the other horse belongings. It can reduce a large tick population. Before considering this procedure, make sure that the product you use is safe for your animals. Also, don’t ignore the direction of use. If it is mentioned to keep the animals away for some specific period, do exactly like that.
Use a spot-on application. Such sprays and liquids keep your horses safe for two weeks or so. After this period, you should repeat the process. These repellents are not only giving protection from ticks, but also the flies, mosquitoes, and other similar insects. So, if you don’t have any time to check your horse daily, you should try these products. Before applying such sprays on horse skin, consult the vet as some animals may have allergies even if they are natural or ayurvedic. Blams and roll-on treatment can also help.
Use Tick-Pick Or Tick-Key
If your horses are already exposed to ticks even after taking all these precautions, get a tick-pick. It is a small product that can remove the attached ticks. If you see or feel any ticks or boils while giving bath or grooming your pet, take the tick-pick (which is also known as tick-key) and start removing the ticks to stop their population.
Things To Remember
- Remove the tick without leaving its head behind.
- Try to avoid any contact of tick’s blood to prevent infections.
- Never try to burn the ticks with the matchbox. It may cause a horrible accident. Also, such techniques are not 100% effective.
- After plucking or removing the ticks, put them into a bottle of rubbing alcohol to kill them completely.
- Mark the day when you have cleaned the ticks. Repeat the process after certain intervals.
I hope this article has helped you find your answers regarding tick treatment for horses. Now you have any tips and tricks to get rid of the ticks. So hopefully, you will not have to interact with even a single tick this coming year. Still, be prepared and take precautions.