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What they are
Ticks are blood sucking obligate parasites. They can transmit disease and, in high infestations, can cause anaemia.
There are about 20 species of tick in the UK, although not all affect livestock. They tend to be less active during the winter but this depends on the climate and environment.
The harm ticks cause
Common diseases that ticks transmit to livestock are louping ill, tickborne fever, babesiosis and tick pyaemia.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of lambs are infected with tick borne diseases in the UK each year. In particular, tick pyaemia, which affects lambs aged between 2 and 12 weeks, causes significant economic loss due to debilitation and death.
How to control ticks
The best way to control ticks is through the use of insecticides. These come in a variety of forms including pour-ons, sprays, powders, injections and drops.
However, to treat the problem effectively it is important to identify the specific species of tick. This is because not all drugs are effective for all ticks.
In order to identify the tick species, you will need to remove a tick from your animal. We recommend you do this under guidance from your vet as incomplete removal or squeezing of the tick can lead to a potentially serious infection in your animal.
For more information on how to safely remove a tick please visit http://www.ticktwister.co.uk/how-to-remove-a-tick-video/.
We identify tick species
We can identify the tick species you removed from your animal.
Our test kits include instructions on how take a sample, a guide to help you interpret the results and advice on what to do next.