Ticks Invading The Southern Border Pose Huge Challenge for Cattle Industry

growing concerns as tick population increases at the border

Ticks Coming Through US Boarders & Posing Huge Threat To The Cattle Industry

As a record number of immigrants are flooding U.S. Boarders, so are a myriad of other problems. The pictures of unsanitary and unsafe conditions at holding areas are the subject of media reports daily.

Seldom heard are the fact that ticks have infiltrated the boards too. There currently is a special team of professionals working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to combat this issue. They are called the ‘Tick Riders’ their primary purpose is to focus on stray cattle that have entered from Mexico.

Heading up the USDA team are Jorge Solis, and his agents, Rene Menoz and Carlos Salinas, The team takes pride in their work, because in their words, ‘it’s critical.’ The men illustrated how their daily work activities unfold.

They had two Mexican cows they had found crossing the boarder. They explained when they find cattle that has crossed, they ‘perform a scratch inspection.’

On Sight Inspections Of Crossing Cattle

The agents wanted to make clear, that their inspections of crossing cattle is ‘not merely a back scratch’, but a life or death fact finding task.

Finding any and all ticks is the goal of this team, because ticks can and do transmit cattle fever. A deadly type of disease that can wipe out entire herds. It’s similar to the swine fever that China is currently experiencing with pigs.

One such inspection the team performs produced, ‘a micro-plus’ tick that was still alive. Agent Solis explained that these ticks are so tiny, they can easily be overlooked. Especially he added with chaotic day to day functions agents perform at the boarder. The agents explained that when ticks are detected on a cow, there is some things that can be done to help treat the cattle.

When Ticks Are Spotted On The Bodies Of Cattle They Are Treated

Once a tick or ticks are spotted on the body of a cow, the cow is given a special bath. The water the cow is bathed in has insecticides to rid the cattle of ticks. The bath is repeated at least twice a day to all affected cattle. Once inspectors feel that the cattle are tick free, they are returned to their legal owner.

In the case of the cows recently found to have ticks, they were treated and given back to a rancher in Mexico. There was a huge infestation of ticks in 2017, it was the worst outbreak the region saw since the 1970’s.

In the 2017 incident over 1600 acres that Agent Solis was responsible for had to be put under quarantine. That tragedy, prompted the USDA to dole out over 12 million dollars to combat the tick infestation.

This is the primary reason the ‘Tick Rider’ team is place. To get a quick handle on the crossing cattle and keep them contained in a small area. The more the cattle are able to roam, the more likely an outbreak can occur.





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