Evaluation of tea tree oil for controlling Rhipicephalus microplus in dairy cows

Vet Parasitol. 2016 Jul 30;225:70-2. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.05.031. Epub 2016 May 28.


Our research aimed to test the effects of Melaleuca alternifolia oil (pure and in nanocapsules) in the control of Rhipicephalus microplus in dairy cattle. For this purpose, the in vivo studies used 15 cows distributed in three different groups with the same number of animals. Five cows remained untreated (Group A), representing the control group; other five cows were sprayed with TTO (at 5%) in its pure form (Group B); and five cows were sprayed with nanocapsules of TTO (at 0.75%) (Group C). On days 1 and 4 post-treatments (PT), all cows had their ticks counted. On day 1 PT, two ticks from each cow were collected to evaluate the effect of the treatment on ticḱs reproduction (in vitro assays). The pure form of TTO caused a significant reduction (P<0.05) in the number of ticks from the Group B compared to the Group A on day 4 PT. However, there was no significant difference in the number of ticks on cows from Groups A and C after treatment (P>0.05). Treatment with TTO in nanocapsules (Group C) interfered with R. microplus reproduction, leading to lower oviposition by female ticks and hatchability (34.5% of efficacy). On the other hand, TTO oil (Group B) did not interfere on ticḱs reproduction, i.e. showed higher hatchability than the control group. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that pure TTO has an acaricidal effect in dairy cows, in addition to an effect on ticḱs reproduction when used its nanocapsulated form.

Keywords: Drug resistance; Melaleuca alternifolia; Nanotechnology; Tick.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acaricides / pharmacology
  • Acaricides / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cattle Diseases / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Oviposition / drug effects
  • Reproduction / drug effects
  • Rhipicephalus / drug effects*
  • Tea Tree Oil / pharmacology*
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use*
  • Tick Control / methods*
  • Tick Infestations / drug therapy
  • Tick Infestations / prevention & control
  • Tick Infestations / veterinary*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Acaricides
  • Tea Tree Oil