How 35 Plants Can Kill Camel Ticks

Jim Crocker
29th April, 2024

How 35 Plants Can Kill Camel Ticks

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a Benha University study, certain plant extracts killed up to 95% of camel ticks
  • Effective extracts included basil, medlar, and alpine violet, rich in pest-repelling compounds
  • These natural extracts offer a sustainable alternative to chemical tick control methods
Ticks are tiny creatures that can cause big problems. Not only do they irritate animals like cattle and camels by feeding on their blood, but they also spread diseases that can harm livestock and humans alike. In tropical and subtropical regions, ticks are a particular menace to livestock production, often managed with synthetic chemicals known as acaricides[2]. However, these chemicals aren't a perfect solution; ticks can develop resistance to them, making it harder to keep the pests in check. This is why researchers are continuously seeking alternative methods to control tick populations effectively and sustainably. A recent study by scientists at Benha University[1] has made a significant contribution to this effort by testing the acaricidal (tick-killing) efficacy of various plant extracts against the camel tick, Hyalomma dromedarii. This tick species is not only a concern for camel health but also a vector for pathogens that can affect other animals and humans. Finding effective control measures is therefore crucial. The study evaluated 35 different aqueous plant extracts, with a concentration of 17%, on their ability to kill these ticks. Researchers found that the extracts could be grouped into three categories based on their effectiveness 15 days after treatment. The most effective group, which achieved a 91%-95% kill rate, included extracts from plants like Ocimum basilicum (basil), Mespilus germanica (medlar), and Viola alpine (alpine violet). These plants showed potential as natural acaricides due to their high content of phenols, flavonoids, and tannins—compounds known for their pest-repellent properties. The study's findings are promising for several reasons. First, they offer potential alternatives to traditional synthetic acaricides, which are important as resistance to these chemicals continues to grow[2]. The use of plant-based acaricides could help manage this resistance and prolong the effectiveness of existing synthetic options. Additionally, the plant extracts studied are from species that are readily available and could offer a more affordable solution for livestock owners in affected regions. This research builds upon previous studies that have explored the acaricidal properties of different substances. For example, a study comparing the effectiveness of safranin, a fluorescent dye, to that of tetramethrin against engorged female ticks found safranin to be significantly more potent[3]. Moreover, another study investigated the efficacy of neem leaf extract and ivermectin against the rabbit parasite Sarcoptes scabiei var. cuniculi, demonstrating that neem extract could be just as effective as ivermectin and without adverse effects on the rabbits[4]. These studies highlight the potential of alternative substances, including plant extracts, to control tick populations. The current study's approach of using aqueous plant extracts is particularly appealing because it suggests a method that is not only effective but also environmentally friendly and less likely to be harmful to the livestock or humans. Moreover, the use of such natural products aligns with an integrated pest management strategy, which combines different control methods to achieve long-term, sustainable pest control[2]. In summary, the Benha University study adds to a growing body of research indicating that plant-based products can be powerful allies in the fight against ticks and the diseases they carry. By identifying specific plants with high acaricidal activity, this research paves the way for developing new, natural tick control methods that are both effective and environmentally sound. As the search for sustainable pest management strategies continues, studies like this one are crucial in offering alternative solutions to a global agricultural challenge.

EnvironmentPlant ScienceAnimal Science


Main Study

1) Acaricidal Efficacy of Thirty-Five Egyptian Plants Against the Camel Tick, Hyalomma Dromedarii.

Published 26th April, 2024

Related Studies

2) Acaricide resistance in cattle ticks and approaches to its management: the state of play.

3) Photosensitizers in the fight against ticks: safranin as a novel photodynamic fluorescent acaricide to control the camel tick Hyalomma dromedarii (Ixodidae).

4) The acaricidal efficacy of aqueous neem extract and ivermectin against Sarcoptes scabiei var. cuniculi in experimentally infested rabbits.

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