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A Two Host tick molts from larva to nymph on the first host, but will leave the host between the nymphal and adult stages. The second host may be the same individual as the first host, the same species, or even a second species.


There are several different two-host tick species worldwide, the red-legged and bont ticks are considered the most important species in South Africa, with mostly only the adult ticks visible on animals.


When people or animals are bitten by these parasites they sometimes pay a high price, as they can transmit serious diseases.


The bont-legged tick favours the warmer, drier parts of the country.

One of the major diseases this tick causes is a tickborne toxicosis known as sweating sickness and the acute and highly contagious viral disease, Congo fever, in humans.


The bont-legged and bont tick (heartwater tick) with their long mouthparts also cause severe tissue damage leading to severe wounds and abscesses, and damage to the skin which reduces the value of skins.


Red-legged ticks are found countrywide and can transmit African redwater to their hosts.


It is very important that livestock be checked regularly, especially the preferred attachment sites.

Adult bont-legged ticks favour the ventral parts of the body, parts of the body with less hair such as on the udder and teats of cows, the sheath and testes of bulls, in the groin area, under the front legs and between the claws of animals.


Pay attention to high tick loads on the tail switch and under the tail, which is a favourite spot for adult red-legged ticks.


Treatment against tick infestation and its control, especially during the summer months, includes the use of products containing synthetic pyrethroids, amitraz or organophosphates. However, be cautious of organophosphate as it is fatal to oxpeckers.


We at Stutt Trading are here for you. You are welcome to contact us for any further information or advice on how to deal with these little bloodsuckers.

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