How Do Deer Get Ehd? 5 Shocking Facts Revealed!

How Do Deer Get EHD

Deer are beautiful creatures that roam the woods and fields, captivating the hearts of many. However, they are not immune to diseases. One such disease that affects deer is Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, commonly known as EHD. In this article, we will explore how deer get infected with EHD and the impact it has on their population.

What is EHD?

EHD is a viral disease that is transmitted by biting midges, also known as no-see-ums or gnats. These tiny insects feed on the blood of infected deer and then carry the virus to healthy deer when they bite them. The virus replicates within the body of the deer, causing severe damage to their organs, particularly the liver and spleen.

How do deer get infected?

Deer get infected with EHD when they are bitten by the infected midges. The midges are most active during warm weather, typically between late summer and early fall. During this time, when the humidity is high and there is standing water around, the midges breed and multiply rapidly, increasing the risk of EHD infection.

Signs and symptoms of EHD in deer

Deer infected with EHD may exhibit various signs and symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid breathing
  • Swollen tongue
  • Excessive salivation
  • Excessive thirst

As the disease progresses, affected deer may also develop internal and external hemorrhages. In severe cases, this can lead to death within a week of infection.

Impact on deer population

EHD can have a significant impact on deer population dynamics. Outbreaks of this disease have been known to cause localized die-offs, especially in areas with high deer densities. The mortality rate can be as high as 90% in some cases, leading to a rapid decline in the deer population.

These die-offs are particularly concerning for hunters, as they can affect not only the number of deer available to hunt but also the age structure and genetics of the remaining population. It can take several years for the deer population to recover from a severe outbreak of EHD.

Prevention and treatment

There is no specific treatment for EHD in deer. Once a deer is infected, the disease runs its course, and the deer either recovers or dies. However, there are some preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of EHD:

  • Controlling mosquito and midge populations by eliminating breeding grounds such as standing water.
  • Using insect repellents and insecticides to protect deer from bites.
  • Providing supplementary feed with minerals and vitamins to boost deer immune systems.
  • Supporting wildlife conservation efforts to maintain a balanced ecosystem and reduce stressors that can weaken deer.

While these preventive measures are beneficial, it is important to remember that EHD is a natural occurrence in deer populations. Outbreaks can happen despite our best efforts to prevent them.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Do Deer Get Ehd? 5 Shocking Facts Revealed!

How Does Ehd Affect Deer?

EHD, or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, affects deer by causing fever, loss of appetite, and ultimately death due to internal bleeding.

Where Is Ehd Most Common In Deer?

EHD is most common in deer populations located in warm and humid regions, such as the southern United States.

How Is Ehd Transmitted Among Deer?

EHD is transmitted among deer through the bites of infected midges, which are small flies that carry the virus.

Can Deer Develop Immunity To Ehd?

Yes, deer can develop immunity to EHD after surviving an initial infection. However, this immunity may not be lifelong.


EHD is a viral disease that affects deer and is transmitted by biting midges. Deer get infected when they are bitten by these insects during the warm months. The disease can cause severe symptoms and even death in affected deer. Outbreaks of EHD can have a significant impact on deer populations, leading to localized die-offs. However, by taking preventive measures, we can reduce the risk of infection and help maintain a healthy deer population.

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