Chemical control of ticks on cattle and the resistance of these parasites to acaricides

Parasitology. 2004;129 Suppl:S353-66. doi: 10.1017/s0031182003004682.


Toward the end of the nineteenth century a complex of problems related to ticks and tick-borne diseases of cattle created a demand for methods to control ticks and reduce losses of cattle. The discovery and use of arsenical solutions in dipping vats for treating cattle to protect them against ticks revolutionized tick and tick-borne disease control programmes. Arsenic dips for cattle were used for about 40 years before the evolution of resistance of ticks to the chemical, and the development and marketing of synthetic organic acaricides after World War II provided superior alternative products. Most of the major groups of organic pesticides are represented on the list of chemicals used to control ticks on cattle. Unfortunately, the successive evolution of resistance of ticks to acaricides in each chemical group with the concomitant reduction in the usefulness of a group of acaricides is a major reason for the diversity of acaricides. Whether a producer chooses a traditional method for treating cattle with an acaricide or uses a new method, he must recognize the benefits, limitations and potential problems with each application method and product. Simulation models and research were the basis of recommendations for tick control strategies advocating approaches that reduced reliance on acaricides. These recommendations for controlling ticks on cattle are in harmony with recommendations for reducing the rate of selection for acaricide resistance. There is a need to transfer knowledge about tick control and resistance mitigation strategies to cattle producers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / drug effects
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Insecticide Resistance*
  • Insecticides / administration & dosage
  • Tick Control / methods*
  • Tick Infestations / prevention & control
  • Tick Infestations / veterinary*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / prevention & control
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / veterinary*
  • Ticks / drug effects*


  • Insecticides