Bont tick and natural tickisides (fwd)

Victor Guest vic at daena.eepo.com.au
Sat Aug 1 12:13:52 EDT 1998


>Dear all
>
>I have a client who has a problem with the bont tick and the resulting 
>heartwater etc. They are also currently battling a lot with Nagana. This
is a 
>disease spread by the tsetse fly which is reinfesting its natural habitat
now 
>that it is immune to the DDT spread in huge tonnages there in earlier days.
>
>Innoculations for heartwater etc are being quite effective but teat loss
on the 
>cows from the ticks them selves remain a problem. They do dip still, 
>occasionally, strategically and when necessary but would like to stop using 
>chemicals for the sake of the dung beetles there. He has proper Zululand 
>dungbeetles which one sees so little of these days. They are about 2 inches 
>long and would knock you off your horse if you were going at speed.
>
>So do you know of any natural remedies for these ticks and possibly for the 
>tsetse?

Guinea fowl have been sucessfully used at Baobab Farms, Mombasa, Kenya for
controlling TseTse fly.  The female TseTse fly retains it's eggs till the
larvae stage, and are then placed in moist soil, where they form a pupa.
Guinea fowl scratch around in the soil searching for insects and their
larvae.  Birds, ants, wasps and spiders all help too.  The dung beetles as
you probably know, do a good job in controlling other flies.

As for ticks, Oxpeckers were successful at Baobab Farms until they were
displaced almost overnight by the Indian House Crow. The crows, introduced
originally to clean up rubbish from the streets of Zanzibar (!), are unable
to get to ticks around the eyes and mouths of the cattle/eland/oryx.  They
are having success in getting rid of the crows with birds of prey such as
the Sparrow hawk, but these crows are particularly cunning (and almost
vindictive it would seem) so it probably won't be long before they are
back.  Guinea fowl and Crested Cranes have been introduced to control ticks
in the grass at Baobab Farms.

As for tickisides, there are a lot of uses being made now of the neem tree
(Azadirachta indica), insecticides for one.  Not sure if there are
tickicides based on Neem, but I wouldn't be surprised.   Here in the UK, a
few years ago there was a lot of pressure to ban organophosphate sheep dips
and there had been some litigation by farmers said to be suffering nerve
damage.  One of the side effects of moving to a more natural chemical,
based on pyrethroids, is that they have been found to persist for a long
time in waterways, and are thought to be responsible for a sudden decline
in river health in some areas, but pyrethroids (from the pyrethrium plant),
may be a solution if you can avoid watercourses.  Don't know of any
commercial brand-names unfortunately.

Regards,
Kenn.

K.H. von Kaufmann, 
Richmond,
London, UK.
kenn at bogo.co.uk
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