tick talk

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that tick borne diseases have tripled between 2004 and 2016. Additionally, the CDC admits that the United States is NOT prepared to diagnose and treat expanding epidemics of these diseases. Tick populations on migratory birds are closely monitored because the birds can spread ticks over vast distance each year. What’s more, they spread the diseases by carrying ticks to new locations AND by harboring tick borne disease, which are spread again when a new tick, flea, or mosquito bites them.


The Global Lyme Alliance notes that in the spring of 2013 and 2014 a study was done to collect neotropical ticks (ticks from Central or South America). From thousands of birds evaluated, 85 bird species were identified and 67% of the ticks collected from them were neotropical. The authors of the study estimated that up to 39 million neotropical ticks are brought to the United States by migratory birds each and every year.


Lyme Disease is only one of the many devastating diseases that ticks can transmit to your animals. Indeed, Some of the tick borne diseases put you and your family at risk. Unfortunately, Most tick-borne illness can go undetected until the animal is anemic, neurologically comprised or dead. However, the toxic chemicals present in today’s tick-control products can do more harm than help. In fact, some industrial pesticides can present significant risks to the health of animal and human alike.


This tick-born illness is most commonly contracted in the fall and winter seasons and includes symptoms of fever, limb swelling, loss of appetite and generalized reluctance to move. Although antibiotic treatment is available, most animals relapse within 3-4 weeks. At present, there is no preventative vaccine on the market. For more information please watch https://youtu.be/dWnVUcLyE-g


Transmitted as the tick feeds, horses, livestock and canines are at the highest risk to be long term carriers of this debilitating disease. Even after an intense course of antibiotics, many animals can relapse after strenuous exercise or if they contract any immuno-suppressive illness. Unfortunately, Babesiosis can be passed to offspring in-utero, often resulting in miscarriage. Symptoms include fever, malaise, rapid respiration and congestion and can be fatal if not treated rapidly. TNT can help prevent the contraction of this devastating illness. For more information please watch https://youtu.be/PSCxznB5Ddg


Capable of being transmitted over twice as quickly as Lyme Disease, this intractable illness can cause life-long neurological damage to a wide variety of livestock, domestic animals, and humans. Although the primary symptom is intense lethargy, internal organ damage is common but hard to detect. Indeed, chronic swelling of the brain can lead to sudden death. Additionally, transmission to humans is possible, and is somewhat common. As is the case with many tick-borne illness, there is no known cure; only symptom treatment, often in the ICU. Only the immune system can fight the disease currently, while medical science keeps the patient alive. For more information please watch https://youtu.be/JhQplu2q3yI


This deeply serious tick-borne aliment may prove fatal for horses and other livestock. While antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications are available to treat the condition, these powerful narcotics must be carefully monitored along with the animal’s nutrition and hydration levels. Sadly, anemia often sets in within days, often placing the animal in need of a blood transfusion. Without such treatment, death can occur within days or even hours. Indeed, even if the animal survives, the long term effects on the central nervous system can be devastating. For more information please watch https://youtu.be/WwCpcn04wNE


As a disease-ridden ticks feed on unsuspecting animals, a progressive muscular paralysis occurs, often within 24 to 72 hours. Untreated animals can’t chew, swallow, drink or even breathe, eventually leading to their demise within a matter of days. The American Dog tick is usually associated with this disease. For more information please watch: https://youtu.be/57KwW6-AEc8


A bacterial disease spread by ticks and deer flies, this severe bronchial illness can develop in all forms of livestock and domesticated animals. Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes and puss-expectorating sores. Additionally, the malady can easily spread to humans, who acquire the disease through direct contact with inflected animals or by breathing in bacteria from inflected environments. The condition, if left untreated in animals or humans, can enter the lungs and produce severe pneumonia. For more information please watch: https://youtu.be/_v8YRP-gmoc

BOBCAT FEVER (Cytauxzoonosis)

Deadly to household felines, Bobcat Fever is communicated by the Lonestar Tick. This tick carries the protozoan Cytaux, which it injects into the domestic cat when it takes a blood meal. The range of this ticks breeding is expanding north. Symptoms can occur 12-15 days after the initial bite and include lethargy, lack of appetite, fever and dehydration. Unfortunately, survival rates are extremely low, even with proper medical care.

Tick Season Advice: Avoid Walking Poppy Seeds.

Posted April 2020

Although Lyme, transmitted through the blacklegged tick (deer tick) is the most studied and notable of the tickborne diseases, the other co- infections and separate diseases are close behind in numbers of reported illness. These diseases also pose huge threats to people and animals.

Currently on the radar of vectorborne illness researchers is the lone star tick. Previously this tick was only established in the southeastern Unites States, but colonies are now established in the upper Midwest and northeast. Each female lone star tick will lay thousands of eggs, and as they grow to larva, nymph and adult, they will feed on large animals at all stages of life, putting you, your horses, and domestic pets at risk for the diseases they transmit. The two smaller life stages also feed on birds, transmitting disease wherever they drop off the birds. In recent decades, there have been proven breeding populations of these ticks in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. The New York populations were reported as early as 1971 and the Massachusetts populations were confirmed in 2019, indicating a northern movement of the tick species.

Genetic research has shown that the lone star ticks in New York are actually different than the lone star sticks in New Jersey and the southeast United States. This indicates evolution of the species and suggests they are adapting to colder climates.

It is imperative that all of us who spend time outside and with our animals remain on the lookout for both of these ticks. It would be wise to capture them if you can, and have them identified for species and disease reservoirs. Please always remember that the nymph stage of the blacklegged tick is the most likely to transmit Lyme Disease because of it often goes undetected. That’s another thing about using TNT because it gets the ticks you miss getting off. They are only the size of a poppy seed and still carry enough borrelia burgdorferi to give you and your pets Lyme Disease.

My friend, Kathy, and I have been trail ride buddies for decades. Many repellents we used were either ineffective or didn’t last long enough. Plus, we didn’t like over using them because of the chemicals in them being mostly nerve agents. Through years of research and many years of trials with us and our families and friends, we developed a product that gave us peace of mind while we rode on tick infested trails together. The evolution of this product resulted in an even longer lasting, more effective design that we call TNT-Tick Natural Terminator. We have used this product for over 20 years without seeing an embedded tick on our animals, and now will not ride without it. Because it has been so effective, we decided to get TNT-Tick Natural Terminator out to the other people who love trail rides, hiking, or just keeping their animals and them tick free. Our patent pending formulation is what makes this product effective. All the ingredients we use are FDA approved. It is safe to use with other pest control products, like mosquito sprays, because there is no chemical interaction. Our happy customers are also reporting TNT works great for the spring gnats as well!

There is a lot more information about our product on the website at tntticks.com. TNT-Tick Natural Terminator is also available on Amazon and through Wal Mart on line. We recommend application with a stiff body brush or by using a Scratch Me Silly for places that are hard to reach. (see Scratchnall.com)

Can you see all five ticks in this picture?

Pictures Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kathy and I wish you happy and tick free horsing around. Remember to ride at least 6 feet apart during the COVID19 outbreak!

Asian Longhorned Tick is at Home in the US

Posted 3/2021
This invasive tick, haemaphysalis Longicornis, was first discovered in New Jersey in 2017. But further information has surfaced and it is now believed this tick has been here since about 2010. It prefers cows, horses and sheep as hosts, but will also bite humans. Additionally, it has been found on birds, opossum, deer and raccoons, so it will travel to more locations aboard wildlife. During three life stages the Longhorn Tick will find a meal host, feed, and drop off. Scientists have confirmed this tick carries babesiosis, and can kill small animals if allowed to reproduce in large numbers through anemia. And reproduce it can; not only by mating, but also without the presence of a male in a self cloning manner! Therefore if these ticks are found on your animals, they can multiply much quicker than other varieties. Although not widely studied, they have been found to carry anaplasma phagocytophilum, ehrlichia, babeosis, and Powassan Virus. In China they are thought to be a vector of a newly emerging disease called Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus which has a high mortality rate for people.

Currently, it is believed these ticks are more widespread in the US than previously suspected. Not only has it been found throughout New Jersey, but it is also in Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia on various species of domestic animals and wildlife, and humans. Because they are known to have overwintered in New Jersey where winters can be quite cold, scientists are evaluating its spread into the northeast. It has been found in a region of Russia that has a climate similar to the Northeastern US. Because there is so much unknown about this tick, scientists are asking that if you find one you send it to your nearest lab for evaluation. Cornell in New York State and Rutgers in New Jersey are both very interested to see where these ticks are found, as is the Center for Disease Control. If you find one of these ticks, you can preserve it in rubbing alcohol and send it to: neregionalvectorcenter.com/ticks.

New Tickborne Diseases Courtesy of Migrating Birds

Posted February 2020

A study conducted by Uppsala University and other institutions in 2018 identified Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus being carried by migratory birds. This disease is spreading from where it was first identified in Saudi Arabia. This disease is similar to Ebola causing animals and people to develop high fever and bleed to death. The ticks spreading this disease were recently found being carried by birds migrating from Africa to parts of Europe, including Turkey and Greece. Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever is a potentially fatal disease for which there is no known treatment.

Many ticks from migratory birds are in the larvae or nymph stages, indicating they attached to the birds prior to the start of their migration. Ticks carrying diseases into our country are not only dangerous to humans, they can also pose a risk to livestock and the entire farming industry as they have done to our southern neighbors. As our weather warms, different species of ticks are capable of establishing themselves in our country and will not only come by the millions on migratory birds, they will also live in our hay fields.