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  • Tick!

    Its that time of the year... tick season.

    I have combated ticks for many years, yet it is so early in spring and they are already prominent on my horses. Which is why I turn to this forum for every tick killing solution possible. Really, anything from home remedies to expensive high brand treatment. My horses life in semi wooded pasture and like to explore so ticks are inevitable, but if it could be kept to a minimum where I could just pluck the rest off every so often that would be ideal.

    Really looking for anything to help, any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Spraying with fly spray daily helps. Fly spray not a repellent but a spray that kills bugs.
    and applying original Listerine daily will help keep ticks away
    hey when I was a little child my mother had to "tick" me daily. And I ticked our 2 Llewellyn setters daily and my grandparents dogs and great grandparents dogs.


    • #3
      I just found the first one of the year on my horse, yuck!! He is a thin-skinned thoroughbred and seems to attract more then most of his pasture mates. I'm trying Equispot, hopefully that will help some.


      • #4
        I keep mine on garlic from springtime through tick season and find it to make A HUGE difference.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Simkie View Post
          I keep mine on garlic from springtime through tick season and find it to make A HUGE difference.
          This is what I used to do, many years ago. Now I can't remember the name of the supplement I used. I was thinking of trying it again this year, after reading all the sad and disturbing stories of lyme disease in horses here on COTH.
          ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


          • #6
            Originally posted by 4LeafCloverFarm View Post

            This is what I used to do, many years ago. Now I can't remember the name of the supplement I used. I was thinking of trying it again this year, after reading all the sad and disturbing stories of lyme disease in horses here on COTH.
            I've been very pleasantly surprised with how well it seems to work. Supposedly the stuff from springtime has less risk of causing Heinz body anemia because it's air dried. I have no clue if that's true but figure it doesn't hurt to go that route. They also have frequent sales, so it's easy to load up then and save some bucks.


            • #7
              1. Garlic does work - however, I would not feed it to a horse with ulcer/digestive issues, nor would I feed it to a metabolic horse

              2. Die hard trail riders swear by sulphur filled socks. They buy the powder, fill the sock, knot it off. They tap it against the horses legs and also on the lower tail. I know ticks don't like sulphur because I have rubbed MTG on the hair at the fetlock are and it helps.

              3. Any sort of "dyne" shampoo (betadine, povidone, etc.) will make ticks stand straight up on a horse. Mix in water so the shampoo makes the water a dark brown

              i check my horses every night when they come in and again in the morning before turnout because I always manage to miss one or two

              we have Lone Star ticks. They are little and difficult to kill so I don't even try to kill,them. I keep a "tick jar" on the barn counter and throw them in the jar --


              • #8
                Originally posted by walkinthewalk View Post
                2. Die hard trail riders swear by sulphur filled socks. They buy the powder, fill the sock, knot it off. They tap it against the horses legs and also on the lower tail. I know ticks don't like sulphur because I have rubbed MTG on the hair at the fetlock are and it helps.
                Interesting! I use MTG on his tail which doesn't seem to be enough to make a difference (though of course who knows if it would have been even worse without it)


                • #9
                  Be careful with garlic - my vets won't use it, me neither. I have an anemia prone horse. It bothers me so much to see SmartPak market it so hard with no mention that it can cause real problems for some horses & should not be treated so casually.

                  I hate the seed ticks the most, I have to keep tweezers to grab them. Spot on was meh for me. A good permethrin spray does help repel them for a brief time, but I still explore all horsey crevices daily.
                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                  We Are Flying Solo


                  • #10
                    I'd use a good fly spray daily. I found one by Carr Day & Martin with Deet recently. I'm not crazy about chemicals but our stable gets really buggy and my horse has already had 4 ticks. He also reacts to them a bit more than a normal horse. He may have a slight allergy to them.

                    I tried a spot on treatment last year but he got huge painful welts at the application sites.

                    I bought a container of dried garlic powder but after some research I've been hesitant to feed it due to the negative side effects. I don't know that he will be effected negatively, so I suppose I should give it a try.

                    Interesting about the Sulphur.


                    • #11
                      Certainly, garlic carries a small risk of Heinz body anemia, and everyone should weigh that against the possible benefits. Living in tick country not far from the city of Lyme, Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases are very prevalent. I had two horses get anaplasmosis within months of moving here. Since putting horses on garlic from roughly Apr-Dec (based on weather) I've found ONE tick on four horses over two seasons. Cool, huh? The risk of ugly tick disease is much, much larger than the possibility of anemia from one ounce of garlic.

                      The springtime people claim their garlic is less likely to cause hba because it's air dried instead of freeze dried. No idea if that's true, but figure it can't hurt.


                      • #12
                        I have heard of people using the Frontline flea tick spray for ticks and that it works. When my vet was here for our annual shots he also mentioned that it works. He said to just spray it on the base of the tail, the legs and maybe put a bit on the poll, don't spray there, but maybe spray on a rag and dab it on the poll, he said people were surprised at how well it works. I am thinking of giving it a try myself. As with anything new, I will test mine on small areas to make sure of no reaction, but it seems to be the way to go.


                        • #13
                          Equi Spot seems to work well on our farm. If I am late applying it, I can count on my most tick attracting horse getting them. I am in the South and use Equi Spot every two weeks March through November.
                          "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


                          • #14
                            Permethrin, which can be sprayed directly onto horse's hair, kills ticks when they crawl onto the body (before biting). Permethrin is the primary ingredient in most fly sprays, like Ultrashield, but I think we don't spray it in the right places to kill ticks.

                            You don't spray it on human skin not because it's dangerous to do so, but because enzymes on the skin's surface break it down right away. But it is toxic to cats.

                            The American Association of Equine Practitioners has a section about tick treatments here:
                            Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.


                            • #15
                              Guinea fowl will greatly decrease your tick population.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by AKB View Post
                                Guinea fowl will greatly decrease your tick population.
                                And also your hearing, from what I understand


                                • #17
                                  Equi-spot helps big time for fact I started removing ticks from my gelding this week and I haven't even rotated to the main grass turnout, so he got Equi-spot on today. I can tell when it's time to reapply it too.


                                  • #18
                                    Guineas eat bugs like crazy but really are noisy. And possums, coons and foxes will decimate your flock
                                    Buy the gallons of Tri Tech when Smart Pack has it on sale and stay daily. It works.


                                    • #19
                                      We use Tri Tech for ticks whenever the temperature reaches 40 degrees (F), which is when they cease to be dormant, which means we end up spraying at some pretty unusual times of the year. But our gelding ended up with anaplasmosis in the beginning of January a few years back, which should have been unheard of in CT at that time of year. Three weeks earlier we had had a warm spell, and scarring beneath the jaw revealed the spot where he had been bitten by the tick. The after hours emergency vet call (105 (F) fever) was costly enough, but the next day or so he refused to drink in the now cold weather, so I had to bring the vet back in to tube some water down him, bringing the bill to over $800. I ran the numbers and figured we could spray all year and still not spend anywhere near that amount, so we keep it on hand and spray anytime the temperature climbs to 40 or above. We may be the only ones in the barn spraying in the winter, but the stuff works.

                                      Now you've got me rethinking using the Bug Check garlic supplement I recently purchased. I don't need an anemic horse on my hands.
                                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                                      • #20
                                        Heinz body anemia is rare, and studies indicate it takes quite a lot of garlic to get there.


                                        This one says > 0.2 g/kg. That's over 100 grams a day for a 1200 pound horse. I don't know about your supplement, but I feed an ounce a day.

                                        That study also used freeze dried. Air dried supposedly carries less risk.

                                        If you're concerned, have your vet do a smear. Heinz body anemia = changes in the shape of the red blood cell, and should be apparent under the scope. If you run a CBC, that is not specific to Heinz body anemia, and a borderline value isn't unusual if the sample is drawn at rest, due to the storage capability of the spleen.