Prospects for Innovative Tick Control Methods in Africa
Kaaya Godwin P.
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Ticks, and the diseases they transmit, are of great economic and medical importance worldwide, and especially in Africa, where they are considered to be the greatest animal disease problem. The four major genera of ticks are Amblyomma, Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma and Boophilus. Ticks harm their animal hosts by sucking their blood thus reducing growth rate and milk yield, cause mechanical damage to hides and skins causing tick worry, introduce toxins and predispose the animals to myasis. Theileriosis, cowdriosis and dermatophilosis are the major tick-borne and tick-associated diseases of grazing cattle in Africa. The conventional method of tick control is the application of chemical acaricides, but it is associated with a number of problems including environmental pollution, chemical residues in meat and milk products as well as in wool, development of tick resistance and high cost. Some of the alternatives to chemical control of ticks that are available in Africa are discussed in this paper