Ticks are some of the most dangerous, but stubborn blood suckers ravaging the cattle corridor. Even when you spray them, they no longer die. They are resisting the acaricides, a cattle keeper in Kiruhura district, says.
Ticks are the leading danger to cattle, carrying diseases like the East Coast fever, tick fever and anaemia.
Acaricides are chemical compounds used to kill acarids, which includes ticks and mites.
Farmers blame ‘fake’ acaricides for the resistance, while on the other hand, government officials and veterinary experts blame wrong application of the acaricides for the growing resistance.
Acaricide resistance refers to;
- Do not use the same type of acaricide for more than three years. Ticks become resistant due to over use.
- Always use the recommended strength in dips as printed on the chemical label by the manufacturer.
- If using a plunge dip, always re-dip the cattle twice.
- Never under-dose animals during treatment with pour-on or injectable applications. Treat the mob at the rate of the heaviest animal, reducing the chance of underdosing.
- Import only tick-free livestock on to your farm/premises. If this is unavoidable, treat livestock on arrival and only turn out tick-free cattle on to the paddock. n If you suspect poor tick kill, notify a veterinary officer in your area for investigation and testing of the acaricide.
How to reduce resistance to acaricides
Are you or anyone you know using innovative methods to improve farming? What causes acaricides resistance
- Treatment frequency — the more often ticks are exposed to the chemical, the more likely they will develop resistance to it.
- Wrong dosage risks tick survival. It enhances resistance to the chemical.
- Consistent use of one chemical group for tick control. Same type of chemical should not be used for more than three years. Cattle grazing. The agriculture ministry issued an alert about the increasing resistance of ticks to acaricides ability of ticks to overcome adverse effects of acaricides to survive. When resistant ticks survive an acaricide, they pass on this genetic capability to their offspring. Initially, this resistant gene is low in a tick population. However, with continued use of the chemical, a population of resistant ticks develops.
The implication of acaricide resistance is that the chemical being used becomes ineffective to kill and control cattle ticks. This reduces the number of available effective acaricides in the market.
The ‘ideal’ acaricide is one that can be easily administered by a number of methods, such as pour-on, plunge dip, spray dip or injection, is rapidly metabolised and excreted to reduce the level of chemical residue in the animal, which requires long withholding periods and has a high level of toxicity towards all stages of the life cycle of cattle ticks.