Eradication versus control of cattle tick

Eradication of cattle tick is possible because, as a 1-host tick, all of the host-attached life stages can be killed with planned chemical treatments. By killing ticks before they drop and lay eggs, you also stop your pastures from becoming contaminated with seed ticks. Eradication is mandatory if cattle tick are found outside of the tick zone. Check the regulatory treatment requirements for your State or Territory. In many instances tick eradication may not be not practical, or possible and therefore the next option is to manage or control tick populations to reduce business losses.

Eradication plan

To eradicate cattle tick from your property ticks must be removed from you animals, as well as seed ticks from your pastures. An eradication plan requires

  • A planned program to chemical treat animals to kill ticks before they can drop and lay eggs.
  • Secure boundary fences to stop infested cattle and feral animals from straying onto your property and dropping seed ticks onto the pasture.
  • Treat any new animals prior to their introduction to the property.
  • If pastures are highly contaminated with seed ticks consider pasture spelling or a paddock sweeper program to attract larvae off the pasture, then treat the animals before the ticks have time to mature.

Control plan

Cattle tick can be challenging to eradicate due to increasing chemical resistance, changes to land use, increased feral animal movements and limited availability of cattle dips. In instances where eradication is not possible, cattle tick monitoring and control can still be an effective means to reduce business losses.

  • Monitor ticks and time treatments to keep tick numbers below a threshold level.
  • Vaccinate your cattle against tick fever.
  • Know your property's acaricide resistance status so that you can select chemical actives that will work to kill ticks. Use chemical actives from different chemical groups in rotation to avoid further resistance developing.