My horse’s tail is always covered in tick bites when it becomes springtime. He seems to be the only horse out of the 9 other horses in his field to ever have this problem. Every week, there is probably at least one new tick bite that I find to add to the rest already there. I have tried fly sprays that say they repel ticks. I try to wash his tail with betadine 1x a week along with dandruff shampoo to keep the dandruff gone so that’s one less thing irritating him. Usually they are just bites that I find, but I have found 2 live ones on him the past two days.

He is wormed on a rotation of Ivermectin, Panacur and Strongid. The grass in his field is not tall, there is barely any grass growing in our area with all the rain and mud. No trees or shrubs. He is currently stalled at night and out during the day.

Does anyone have any tips or things they’ve found useful to prevent ticks?! Are there any kind of supplements out there to help?

I feed garlic and find it very helpful to prevent tick bites.

We had a thread earlier this year about Vectra 3D for ticks (and flies and gnats.) Have it on order, can’t wait to try (gnats are my problem.)

Frontline spray is another good option. Apply weekly or every other, and rub into the dock, armpits and along the mane.

Another option is to bang the tail short and spray it routinely with something slick, like show sheen.

And, this isn’t related to ticks, but rotating ivermectin, strongid and panacur is a terrible way to approach deworming. Strongid and panacur in single doses are largely ineffective entirely anymore. We’ve had several great threads about how to approach deworming, but the AAEP guidelines are a great place for you to start:



My retired horse (who isn’t checked for ticks daily) has his tail banged just below his hocks. It seems to make a real difference.


Perhaps obvious in retrospect, but I think this is a great idea. My horse seems to also get more tick bites on her tail than anywhere else, so maybe this is the solution.

Deep Woods Off.

Ivermectin is useful for killing ticks who are already feeding. It’s also an effective drug for strongyles and bots.

Panacur (fenbendazole) and Strongid (pyrantel pamoate) are none of those things. Resisatnce with strongyles is high and widespread, so these shouldn’t be used in single doses for any horse unless you can prove through fecal reduction testing one is effective on your farm.

Yes vets still recommend these - they are decades behind the times when it comes to parasite research

Yes, online companies still sell these, put them in 3, 4, 6 way rotation calendar which is also decades old, and sell them as part of yearly packs. Money.

If these are the only drugs you’re using, then unless your Strongid is a double dose, you’re never killing tapeworms.

I find the spot on treatments best for ticks. I usually use freedom45.



I live in tick central (I mean, I went to work on the old fence last week and had 30+ crawling on me and 7 that bit me in just an hour…and that was with using sprays). The equispot works well…and in spring I have to apply every 3 weeks…as the summer wears on I can do 4-5.

I also don’t apply the equispot exactly like the package, as I find it must irritate the horses a bit. So I use a rubber glove, put a bit on the glove and then rub it over key areas (pasterns, inside front legs, chin, mane line, belly, inside hind legs, tail head).

I used Equispot on my last horse and it was very effective, even doing it half as often as recommended. It did seem to make the horse itchy but did not actually irritate. However, I have applied it once to my current horse this spring and felt awful because it blistered and made the top layer of skin fall off, so I won’t be using it any more, and instead will try some of the other options mentioned here bc I’ve seen enough instances of someone’s horse getting Lyme to really, really want to avoid that if I can.

Permoxin kills ticks and stops itching for Sweet itch, Queensland itch or whatever it is called where you are, for horses.

It is mixed with water not oil. You can mix it with something else in the directions if you want it to dry quickly.

It can be used on dogs for flea allergies and ticks. It can not be used on cats.

It will not burn. A vet told a friend it was okay to soak a frail, undernourished puppy that was covered in ticks in permoxin.

If down to blood, treat 3 times a day, working down to twice a day, down to once a day. If you are lucky once a week just on mane and tail, etc. If not lucky you will need it more often.

It is more affective if the horse is allowed to dry before putting it’s rug on.

The side affect of using it is a long mane, tail and forelock.

Equispot or Freedom. In tick central (CT) with horses that have access to hedgerows that are also deer highways. Like others I don’t apply the spot treatments the way the package suggests, but daub it on in a more spread out fashion. And, I put the most on the tail below the tail bone. That way it doesn’t irritate the skin, but is an effective permethrin treated fly whisk. I find that I do have to keep up with the two week schedule, only if it is a dry hot summer can I spread the treatments out.

That’s was always my problem with the spot ons. Got to the point where it required two people–one to hold the twitch and one to apply–and had to be done in the middle of a field, because every horse would immediately violently throw themselves to the ground & frantically roll once free. They ALL just HATED it.

Might have to try your application method!

The herd where my pony was living in Virginia was treated with Ultra Boss.

It appears to “just” be strong permethrin / piperonyl butoxide (same stuff that is in fly spray…) so I’m unclear how it works long term vs. just spraying them daily, especially if you’re hosing them off regularly.

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I use the flea/tick collars for cats and put them around my horses legs and bang tails or put them up. Found just a couple ticks last year.

I’ve also soaked fly sheets in bug spray, let dry and then they work for a good while. Works great until it gets too hot.

I can’t use topical as it burns my ponies skin and he violently throws himself around afterwards. Just makes him miserable.

Yup…I made that mistake the first time I used it! So now a little at a time on the glove and rub over a broad area so that it’s not so concentrated (I just avoid under the saddle/girth area). I can put it on in the stall without halters on…even with the 3yo. This way it stays more on the hair and you don’t get a large concentrated amount on the skin. My one is super sensitive and will get hives or skin issues…and even he does fine if I apply it this way (and it works just as effectively).

I haven’t found any on my horses but I just pulled the third tick off of me. I am so icked out! I haven’t been in any tall grass and I was in the shower twice today. I was sitting at the computer and felt something that didn’t feel like a mole. ICK!!! Do I have more on me that I don’t know about???

I am getting ready to start up the fly system in the barn and the horses get effectively sprayed several times a day and I think that gets a good bit of fly spray on them before they go out for the night. So they usually are fine. But why am I getting so many on me? And where am I getting them? This was on my shoulder so I guess it came from a tree branch?

And be careful about using Deep Woods Off on a horse. I used it on a horses tail and it blistered the crap out of its inner legs. Years ago I attached cattle ear tags ( Pyrethrin ones) to fly wraps and that helped keep ticks off my horse in a tick ridden pasture. Maybe I need to wear some in my hai

I think this warning applies to anything (and I mean literally anything, not just bug spray products) you might apply to your horse. Somethings (humans, horses, dogs, etc) are sensitive to products that might not bother then next critter.

I personally have never had a horse react to Deep Woods Off and I know lots of people who use it. But that is a great warning, as I said, for everything. (Says a person who burnt the crap out of her poor horse using liniment once.)

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Maybe I need to go outside with cat flea and tick collars around my lower legs. And attach one to a baseball cap. I was crawling around in my flower beds but if that was where I got the tick that means he stayed on me through two showers. Scary! Is there anything you can spray in the great outdoors to kill them that will not affect your cats? I HATE them!!!

We like the cedarcide spray for us. They also make a premises spray:

This is the stuff we use when we’re working outside. Works great:

“ Consumer Reports looked at plant- oil based repellents and found that one “product in our insect repellent ratings that contained 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) did well in our tests, warding off mosquitoes and ticks for at least 7 hours.

You can get REPEL and other brand mosquito repellent with OLE for about $5 at any drugstore. Smells great. And studies showed it repels culicoides midges which cause sweet itch. I have used it very successfully!

REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Pump Spray, 4-Ounce https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004N59OFU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_27FRW97SWQEZWK8QCKV4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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