The area around us here in Southern P (or the Northern Algarve as it might be called) is pretty rural stuff. It\’s also pretty bad soil: fruit trees are the only commercial crop for most of the area and in fact, most of the land is left pretty much fallow. It used to be farmed, for sure (the two fields right outside still have straggly almonds in them) but pretty much isn\’t now.
The land is all owned, of course, but in reality the only value extracted from much of it is by shepherds and their peripatetic flocks. And no, they don\’t pay for the grazing.
This of course means ticks: lots of them and in a household which didn\’t manage to snip the female cat living here on our arrival in time (although now done unto the nth generation, except for those that turn up anew of course) that means lots of cats at risk of various Rickettisae, thyphus and Lyme Disease like infections carried by ticks.
Except this year there are almost no ticks: for there are almost no sheep. Last summer most of the flocks down here died (or were destroyed because of) of brucellosis.
No real point to this other than that odd to think of a decline in Frontline or Advantix sales being driven by sheep dying.