Acaricides are chemical products used to kill ticks and are considered the cheapest and easiest way to reduce tick load in a herd. However, the frequent and sometimes incorrect use of acaricides has resulted in the build-up of tick resistance to some of the most common classes of acaricide compounds (Dzemo et al., 2022; Rodriguez-Vivas et al., 2018). 

  1. Ticks can impact the production and health of the animals, either directly by the effect of their bites or by the infectious agents they transmit, which include viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae and protozoa (Hurtado & Giraldo-Ríos, 2019).
  2. The prevalence of tick-borne diseases is 6.25% in Zambia and 25.0% in Zimbabwe (Yessinou et al., 2016). 
  3. The 4 major tick-borne diseases of economic concern are heartwater, gall sickness, redwater and theileriosis (Buffel siekte) (Nyangiwe et al., 2018). 
  4. Apart from the cost of the diseases themselves, performance economic losses  reduction of weight, decrease of meat and milk quality) due to the presence of ticks were estimated at USD2 billion in Brazil in 2000, 100 million Australian Dollars/year in Australia and 48 million USD/year in Mexico (Yessinou et al., 2016).
  5. Mekonnen et al. (2002) conducted a field study from February 2000 to August 2001 on communal and commercial farms in the Eastern Cape and North-West Provinces of South Africa. The study found that single host ticks develop resistance to some of the most common acaricides faster than multi-host ticks.
  6. Spickett et al. (2011) conducted a survey on the livestock ticks in the North West. The survey found that the livestock in the North West harbour 22 tick species; 18 hard shell species and 4 soft shell species. In addition, ticks, which are known vectors for Corridor Disease, were most prevalent in the north-eastern region. 
  7. Ntondini et al. (2008) conducted a 2-year study to determine the extent of acaricide resistance in the eastern region of the Eastern Cape Province. Asian blue tick showed varying levels of resistance and emerging resistance to cypermethrin, chlorfenvinphos and amitraz. Similar results were also seen for red-legged ticks and brown ear ticks. This study also highlighted the role played by goats as hosts of adult ticks. As such, the study emphasizes the need to include goats in tick control programs. 
  8. Amblyomma ticks are vectors of heartwater disease in domestic ruminants. Jongejan et al. (2020) studied South Africa bont ticks on 630 indigenous goats in Mpumalanga Province. 89% of the goats had South Africa bont ticks between the claws of the feet. 17.4% and 15.7% of the adult ticks were infected with heartwater disease and tick bite fever, respectively. Of the nymphs, 28.4% was infected with heartwater disease, and 38.8% carried tick bite fever. Co-infections were also detected. 
  1. In 2016 Robbertse et al. studied the adaptive potential of Asian blue tick in the Mpumalanga region. Looking at the frequency of specific resistance genes, Asian blue tick populations in the Mpumalanga region was found to be resistant against formamidines (amitraz) (frequency of 0.55) and pyrethroids (frequency of 0.81).
  2. In Uganda, Vudriko et al. (2016) found that 90% of the tick populations are resistant to synthetic pyrethroid. 60% of the Brown ear ticks and 63% of the African blue ticks were super resistant (0 % mortality) against cypermethrin and deltamethrin at 2 times the discriminating dose. Resistance was also detected against co-formulations (43.3 %), organophosphate chlorfenvinphos (13.3 %) and amitraz (12.9 %). 
  1. Tick control programs are developed to keep the tick burden at levels with little to no economic effects on production but are high enough to maintain endemic stability to the tick-borne diseases (Mekonnen et al., 2002).
  2. Due to the build-up of tick resistance, alternative tick control programs should focus on an integrated approach looking at the correct acaricide rotation, genetic selection for tick resistance, management of other host species in the area and the use of plant extracts to reduce dependency on acaricides (Dzemo et al., 2022; Rodríguez-Molano et al. 2020; Rodriguez-Vivas et al. 2018). 


Garlium is an in-feed tick repellent that has proven to reduce the number of attached ticks on animals. 


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