Protecting horses against ticks and Lyme disease can be tricky. This is especially true during the wet spring
months when the tick population explodes.
While eradicating ticks is the impossible dream, these land management tips can help reduce the risk of Lyme disease:
1. Keep pasture grass under control by mowing. Ticks thrive in moist, shady conditions. Long or overgrown pastures provide shade and humidity for ticks, allowing them lay low in the long grass, making a perfect habitat.
2. Keep horses from grazing in pastures that run along forest or tree lines. The shade from the trees provides protection from the sun and ticks will heavily populate these areas. Temporary fencing can be used to create a 10’ buffer zone between pastures and wooded areas during spring when tick populations are at their highest.
3. Use fly sprays with cypermethrin or permethrin. Products containing either of these ingredients will help repel ticks for a few hours. Be sure to spray legs and belly before turnout.
4. Remove brush or green waste piles. Green debris should not be stored in or near pastures or barns as they can become infested with ticks.
5. Don’t feed the wildlife. Yes, it may fun to feed the deer and see them in the yard, but they are tick transporters. Leave them be.