By Simon Whitehead
Sunday, 30 September 2012
Q) I have been shooting a lot of rabbits recently and am feeding them whole to my ferrets. The problem is that the ferrets are now picking up ticks, though I never seem to find them on the rabbit carcases. I have noticed, however, the odd tick or two on my lurchers. Is this a bad time of year for these nasty creatures? J. HAMILTON By email
A) Ectoparasitic insects such as ticks are always going to be a problem at this time of year as our weather patterns continue to change. The recent warm and wet weather has been ideal for fleas and ticks. Obviously, in order to survive the tick must find a living vector, in this case your ferrets. Though you rarely see a tick on a rabbit these pests are certainly there, as I have discovered over many years of feeding rabbits in the fur to ferrets. I spray a little liquid Frontline on the tick when I find it, or use a cotton-wool bud to cover the tick with the solution. Whatever method you use, make sure the entire tick has been removed. If the head is left in the animal’s body infection may occur.
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