Control of ticks on cattle #817072

Asked November 30, 2022, 11:21 AM EST

We’ve been raising cattle in Eugene for ~25 hrs on land that’s mixed pasture and brushy woods. In that time, we’ve rarely seen ticks — maybe half a dozen, at most. Suddenly, we have many ticks (> a dozen) on two calves that we’re halter-breaking and wonder: 1. Do we have an infestation in the sheltered area where we’ve been housing the calves? Perhaps in the straw bedding? 2. If so, why do we have a tick population explosion now and what is the best way to get rid of it and keep it under control ? 3. What kind(s) of ticks are most common in our area at this time of year? I’m going to check the whole herd and try to identify any ticks I find (using the URI TickEncointer info), but it would be helpful to have your input on the most likely ticks locally. Many thanks for any advice you can provide. Karen Sprague

Lane County Oregon

Expert Response

Hi Karen,
Thank you for reaching out. We have not heard of an increase of ticks this fall, but over the spring and summer we received many inquiries about the tick population.
You are welcome to send in a photo of the tick for identification purposes.  Or send a sample of the tick to OSU. There is no cost for this service. General information about ticks and how to bottle a tick for ID is available at: This article also includes the 4 most common ticks in our area. 
Sample Form
Typically we would accept samples in the Lane County office but our office will be closed starting tomorrow for a couple of weeks to accommodate painting and remodeling.

Deer and elk are a common carriers for ticks.  If you have deer in your cattle area that could be the source.  If the cattle are moving through wooded or brushy areas this is also where the ticks are waiting to hitch a ride on an animal (this is why deer are often infested). Barn cats and dogs can even carry ticks onto the farm.

We have treatment options for beef cattle pests listed at:

If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Melissa Fery Replied December 01, 2022, 1:44 PM EST

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