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Teardrop shaped tick with a dark brown body and legs and an elongate white patch behind its head.

Ticks Becoming Active in South Dakota

The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.

A woman applying bug spray to a teenager's arm.

How to Avoid Being Dinner: Preventing Tick and Mosquito Bites

Summer is here, and so are the opportunities to enjoy the long days and warm weather. Ticks and mosquitoes share the outdoors with us, and there are things you can do to prevent bites from both.

Flock of mosquitoes in front of sunset.

West Nile in South Dakota: Expect Cases Into Early Fall

While it’s true that in South Dakota most West Nile Virus cases occur during August, new human infections are detected well into September in most years.

A flock of white sheep grazing in a small pasture.

Sheep Breeds

Everyone has heard the fairytale “Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?” but what about the double-coated California Red, the multi-colored Katahdin sheep with hair, or the East Friesian dairy ewe that produces over 1,100 pounds of milk a year? Sheep come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and all of them provide different functions and uses for producers. These can range from meat, wool, and milk production or a combination of characteristics.

Two mosquitoe samples side-by-side. The one on the left is labeled "A". The right one is labeled "B".

Know Your Mosquitoes to Protect Yourself

Mosquito trapping efforts across the state in the last seven years showed that there are over 20 species of mosquitoes occurring in South Dakota, yet only two species dominate the surveillance data: Aedes vexans and Culex tarsalis.

a father and son inspecting a show goat in a competition.

Bringing Home Your 4-H Goat Project

Sales and transport is a stressful time for any animal. Reducing stress factors due to transitions start before the actual purchase of your new project. Managing proper nutrition and disease management are just a couple factors to help your project get off to a great start.

Tick that is dark brown to black in color with a reddish-orange abdomen.

Protecting Yourself From Ticks

During wet springs, tick populations tend to thrive in South Dakota. These parasitic arthropods require blood to fulfill their nutritional needs and commonly use humans as a host. Some ticks can also carry bacterial diseases that are a threat to human health.

Mosquito with darker coloration and mosquito with white band on proboscis.

Be Ready for Mosquitos

With the very wet 2019 spring and recent rains, it inevitable that mosquito populations will be high this year. Although there are over 20 species of mosquitoes that call South Dakota home, there are really only two species that account for the majority of observed individuals.

Mosquito with darker coloration and mosquito with white band on proboscis.

Know Your West Nile Virus Vectors

In some areas of South Dakota, recent precipitation has led to an increase in mosquito activity. To reduce the chances of contracting West Nile Virus, it is important to understand the behavior of the mosquitos capable of vectoring it.

Small black fly on pale skin.

Monitor Livestock, Pets and Yourself for Eye Gnat Activity

While being outside this week, I noticed a lot of small gnats flying around my legs and really bothering my dogs. I caught a few and identified them as eye gnats. Although this pest is considered a nuisance in most cases, it is capable of transmitting diseases and pathogens.