Tick infestations can have a significant negative effect on the performance of production animals. Garlium® GEM HC, a natural, garlic-based feed supplement, can assist in reducing the number of ticks attached to the production animals.
Garlium® GEM HC (Garlium®) is a natural product consisting of concentrated garlic and other Allium compounds. Garlium® assists in repelling ticks when consumed by ruminants, game and horses. Some customers observed a repellent effect on flies as well.
Garlium® is compliant with EU regulations and free of animal products. Garlium® is registered in South Africa (Act 36 of 1947: V27580).
Insect repellent, insecticidal and/or acaricidal properties have been detected in extracts of numerous plants, including garlic (Heal et al., 1950; Osmani et al., 1972; Chungsamarnyart et al., 1988; Mansingh & Williams, 1998), and a range of scientific studies have confirmed the activity of garlic (Amonkar & Banerji, 1971; Bhuyan, 1974; Jarial, 2001; Stjernberg & Berglund, 2001; Alvarenga et al., 2004).
Supplementation of a garlic/sulphur-containing product via the feed to beef cattle lead to a significant decrease in the number (66.8%, P < 0.05), weight (21.6%, P < 0.05) and oviposition (12%; p < 0.05) of engorged female Asian Blue ticks (Costa-Junio & Furlong, 2012).
A commercial study was done in South Africa to determine the effect of supplementing Garlium® to beef cattle (backgrounding). The following results were observed:
Garlium® supplementation significantly reduced (72%, P < 0.001) the number of attached Brown ear ticks for a period of 64 days.
Garlium® supplementation also significantly reduced (38%, P < 0.001) the number of attached Bont ticks for a period of 64 days.
This study was done over a 2 months period (February – March) in the Waterberg area, Limpopo.
Supplementing Garlium® to springbok under experimental conditions was evaluated by the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria. They observed the following significant reductions when the tick load of Garlium® supplemented springbok were compared to the tick load of springbok not supplemented with Garlium®:
51% reduction (P = 0.01) in the number of attached red legged ticks in the ear.
50% reduction (P = 0.02) in the percentage of red legged ticks alive 11 days after ticks were placed on the inside of the ear.
67% reduction (P = 0.02) in the number of engorged female red legged ticks.
More research is currently conducted to evaluate the effect of Garlium® as a fly repellent when ruminants are supplemented with Garlium® via the feed.
Brown ear tick (Rhipicephalus appendiculatus) is found in the ears of cattle, other livestock, buffalo and antelope. Adults occur during the rainy season (December – March). Heavy infestations can cause anaemia, severe damage to the ears, or a toxicosis that results in the loss of resistance to some tick-borne infections (College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 2009).
South African Bont tick (Amblyomma hebraeum) infests livestock and wildlife. The long mouthparts of the Bont tick can cause large wounds that may become infected by bacteria or infested by screwworms. Bont ticks can transmit the agents for both heartwater and African tick-bite fever. (College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 2006).
The main importance of the Red legged tick (Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi) is its role as vector of protozoan parasites causing equine piroplasmosis (De Waal and Potgieter, 1987). The Red legged tick also plays a role in the transmission of anaplasmosis in cattle (Potgieter, 1981). Tick paralysis is induced in sheep infested by adult R. e. evertsi (Hamel and Gothe, 1978).
The Asian blue tick (Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus), currently present in significant numbers in South Africa, is one of the major parasites of cattle because it not only causes reductions in weight gain, quality of coat, and production of calves and milk, but also has the capacity to transmit pathogens (Alonso et al., 1992; Peter et al., 2005; De La Fuente et al., 2008).
Infestation by the Asian blue ticks are generally controlled using acaricides, but such approaches have led to selection for resistance, resulting in serious problems in many countries (Graf et al., 2004).