Protective action of Tagetes minuta (Asteraceae) essential oil in the control of Rhipicephalus microplus (Canestrini, 1887) (Acari: Ixodidae) in a cattle pen trial

Vet Parasitol. 2013 Oct 18;197(1-2):341-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.04.045. Epub 2013 May 25.


The Rhipicephalus microplus tick is globally regarded as the most economically important ectoparasite of livestock, and the evolution of resistance to commercial acaricides among cattle tick populations is of great concern. The essential oil derived from Tagetes minuta may be efficacious against cattle tick infestation, and the results of a cattle pen trial using this essential oil for the control of ticks are reported here. The chemical composition of the essential oil was determined by GC-MS and NMR spectroscopy analyses, which revealed the presence of four major components in the essential oil. These components represent more than 70% of the essential oil: limonene (6.96%), β-ocimene (5.11%), dihydrotagetone (54.10%) and tagetone (6.73%). The results of the cattle pen trial indicated significant differences among the average values of the analyzed biological parameters, including the number of ticks, the average weight of the ticks, the average egg weight per engorged female and larval viability. Treatment with the T. minuta essential oil prepared in this study promoted significant effects on all biological indicators analyzed. Based on the biological indicators, the essential oil showed 99.98% efficacy compared to the control group when used at a 20% concentration. The results obtained in this study suggest that the T. minuta essential oil is a potential R. microplus tick control agent and may be used to mitigate the economic losses caused by tick infestation.

Keywords: Bovines; Cattle tick; Control; Phytoterapics; Rhipicephalus microplus; Tagetes minuta.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Insecticides / chemistry
  • Insecticides / pharmacology
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oviposition / drug effects
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Rhipicephalus*
  • Tagetes / chemistry*
  • Tick Infestations / parasitology
  • Tick Infestations / prevention & control
  • Tick Infestations / veterinary*


  • Insecticides
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils