MT. VERNON, Mo. — Ticks are abundant in southwest Missouri this spring according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Ticks are being found in large numbers on pets, livestock and humans,” said Cole. “At this point, their appearance in such large numbers is being attributed to the unusually mild winter.”

On April 30, Cole was ear tagging a group of heifers and the owner had told him he had noticed several ticks on his heifers. After tagging two or three, Cole noticed some ticks on the ears. In a few minutes, a couple of heifers came through with large areas on the tips of the ears that had hair missing and six to 10 large ticks attached to the ear.

“There are several types of ticks in this area and I’ve not been able to identify the species seen on this group of heifers. Regardless of the species of tick, there are a number of products labeled for the control of ticks on beef cattle,” said Cole.

Fly tags, sprays, backrubber solutions and pour-ons can be effective and can help horn fly control at the same time.

Heavy infestations of ticks, as Cole saw in this one herd, are an economic concern because they irritate the cattle and in severe cases could result in anemic conditions.

“From a disease standpoint, anaplasmosis can be transmitted by ticks and blood-sucking insects. Each year a few cases of anaplasmosis are diagnosed in this part of the state,” said Cole.

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551 or Dona Goede in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313.


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