Evaluating the effectiveness of organic recipe and acaricide on ticks in cattle

Hello community !
Is there an easier way of counting ticks in cattle?
I need to take the number of available ticks(AT0) in cattle before and after(AT1,AT2) applying the different formulated concoctions. I am to work on about 100-120 cattle, I don’t have any gadgets or knowledge of any apps as well.

Hi Gray,

Tick counts are notoriously difficult and there is apparently no standardized technique for sampling hosts for tick loads (https://entomologytoday.org/2019/07/17/counting-ticks-on-animals-more-complicated-than-sounds/). I would be curious of your exact research question, but it seems that there is no easier method than doing half-body counts or identifying consistent, tick-dense anatomical locations on the cattle (ears, neck, belly, legs, perineum, udder/testicles) and count the best you are able. The most recent research I can find has found no more sophisticated way than hiring technicians to do this very thing.


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Hi Cody,

Thank you for the response. It’s been so helpful.


Hi Cody!

My ultimate goal is to develop an effective organic acaricide(recipe), plant extracts to control ticks in cattle.

I am evaluating the effectiveness of plant extracts(concoction)/ recipe against ticks.

But now I need information on simple Phytochemical extraction procedure(aqueous).

I already collected 12 plant materials of ethno-Veterinary importance, shade dried them and crushed as I look forward to the extraction protocol using 95% ethanol.

How do I determine the concentration of the plant extract(concoction) for effectiveness against ticks and what are the common phytochemical compounds of plant extracts of ethno-veterinary importance?

Thank you.

Hi Gray!

It is common for scientists to use different solvents (in a specific order) to extract phytochemicals from plant parts. These include methanol, petroleum ether, hexane, chloroform, acetone, and water. Water is, of course, the most available and easiest of solvents to use but does not always pull chemicals into solution, although heat or centrifuging may enhance an extraction with water.

Depending on the compound you are looking for, water or acetone may be able to pull the chemical into solution which can then be diluted, refined, or isolated depending on what your desired end product is. If you need to determine what the chemical is that you are isolating, Mass Spec or HPLC are the most common methods (see paper by Dundek et al. 2011).

A fairly simple example procedure used to extract phytochemicals with ethanol from plant parts is explained by Al-Sherif et al. 2013. The authors did a 2-step extraction with ethanol first, then chloroform.

We have several ethnoveterinary books in our agricultural library. None of them list a plant root as a tick treatment other than one mentioning tumeric but they do list the following:

  • Tobacco (Forse, Toyang et al., IIRR)
  • Engine oil (Forse)
  • Salt - 50 g per liter (Forse, IIRR)
  • Grease (Forse)
  • Adenium obesum whole plant (Toyang et al.)
  • Psorospermum febrifugum bark with Tephrosia vogelii leaves and tobacco leaves (Toyang et al.)
  • 100g salt and 250 ml coconut oil (IIRR)
  • 10 g camphor powder in 100 ml coconut oil (IIRR)
  • 50 ml coconut oil, 100 g sulfur, and 50 g tumeric ( Cucuma domestica ) boiled (IIRR)
  • neem weeds, sugar apple seeds, and tobacco leaves (IIRR)

There is a good summary from Intermediate Technology Kenya I can also send you if you would like.

If you want me to send you the specific formulas for any of these, please let me know and I will do so. It would take a lot to type in each one in the above list. ECHO does not have experience with testing any of these specific formulas, but would appreciate hearing your experience with any of them so that we can share your experience with others facing this issue.

I look forward to hearing from you


Al-Sherif, E., A.K. Hegazy, N.H. Gomaa, and M.O. Hassan. 2013. Allelopathic effect of black mustard tissues and root exudates on some crops and weeds. Planta daninha 31(1).

Dundek, P., L. Holik, T. Rohlik, L. Hromadko, V. Vranova, K. Rejsek, and P. Formanck. 2011. Methods of plant root exudates analysis: A review. Acta univ.agric. et silvic. Mendel. Brun. 3. accessed 3/29/2021 https://acta.mendelu.cz/pdfs/acu/2011/03/32.pdf

Ethnoveterinary Medicine in Kenya: a Field Manual of Traditional Animal Health Care Practices . Intermediate Technology Kenya, 1996.

Forse, Bill. 1999. Where There Is No Vet . Macmillan Education.

IIRR. 1994. Ethnoveterinary medicine in Asia: An information kit on traditional animal health care practices. 4 vols. International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

Toyang, N.J., J. Wanyama, M. Nuwanyakpa, and S. Django. 2006. Ethnoveterinary medicine: a practical approach for the treatment of cattle diseases. Agromisa Foundation, Wageningen.

Hi Stacy!

It’s my utmost pleasure to hear from you.

I will be happy to receive specific formulas and combinations.
In this study, I intend to use possibly the most
effective plant materials (species) for extracts/concoctions/recipe with
95-100% efficacy against ticks basing on existing ethno-veterinary literature
and studies. The research will be done using
ethno-veterinery plant materials, three brands of acaricide compounds, Amitraz,
Cypermethrine and Deltamethrine on tick infested cattle. The proposal is to
choose plant parts and combinations from materials including those that you shared.
More effectively 95-100%-efficacy formulas and combinations will be great for
this study.

1.0 Experimental Materials

Ageratum conyzoid(Shanmuganath,et al 2021)
Leaf of (Azadirachta indica, leaf and
back of mangifera indica, leaf of psidium guajava, leaf of ocimum basilicum,
rizhomes of Zingiber officinale, bulb of Allium sativum, leaves of Eucalyptus
leaves of A.barbadensis mill, leaves of Cymbopogon nardus, an**d leaves of Rosmarinus
officinalis),(Gosh S et al 2015), (Cassia didymobotrya ,Kigelia Africana,
cissus adenocucaulis, Euphorbia hirta
),(Opiro, et al 2010), (Adenium obesum(Toyang et al.),(Psorrospermum
febrifugum bark with Tephrosia Vogeliileaves and Nicotiana tabacum
et al.),(Azadirachta Indica, Nicotina
tabacum and Annona squamosal)
nucifera,Curcuma longa)*(IIRR), (Gynandropsis
gynandra, lavandula angustifolia,Pelargonium roseum, cymbopogon species)
al 2016), (Datura stramonium, Azadirachta
Indica and Calotropis procera leaves, Allium Sativum(AS) cloves, Carica papaya
(Shyma,K.P., et al.2014). (Dahlstedtia
Pentaphylla roots, Burk-leguminosae, papilionoideaae
(Habeeb et al. 2010) and many more.

It will indeed be good to share with others facing this same
issue. Hope to hear back from you.



Shanmuganath,C., Kumar, S., Singh,R.,
Sharma, A.K., Saminathan,M.,Saini,M., Chigure, G., Fular, A.,Kumar,R., Juliet,S
and Upadhaya,D., 2021.Development of an efficient anti tick natural formulation
for the control of acaricide resistant ticks on livestock. Ticksand Tick-borne
Diseases, 12(3), p.101655.

Shyma, K.P., Gupta, J.P., Ghosh, S., Patel, K.K. and Singh, V., 2014. Acaricidal effect of herbal extracts against cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus using in vitro studies. Parasitology research, 113(5), pp.1919-1926.

Ghosh, S., Twari, S.S.,Kumar, B.,
Srivastava,S., Sharma,A.K., Kumar, S., Bandyopadhyay, A., Julliet,S.,Kumar, R
an Rawat, A.K.S., 2015. Identification of potential plant extracts for anti-tickactivity against acaricide resistance cattle ticks,Rhipicephalus(Boophilus) microplus (Acari:Ixodidae). Experimental and applied
Acarology, 66(1), pp.159-171.

Varadharajan, A. and Gnanasekar, R., 2019. Acaricidal activity of herbal extracts against cattle tick (Rhipicephalus microplus). The Phar. Inno. J, 8(1), pp.609-611.

Singh, N.K., Saini, S.P.S., Singh, H., Sharma, S.K. and Rath, S.S., 2017. In vitro assessment of the acaricidal activity of Piper longum, Piper nigrum, and Zingiber officinale extracts against Hyalomma anatolicum ticks. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 71(3), pp.303-317

Opira,R., 2010 Evaluating the
effectiveness of botanicals locally used ticks in tick control amongst the
cattle keeping communities of Northern Uganda Districts of Gulu and
Amuru(Doctoral dissertation,Makerere University).

Adenubi,O.T fasina,F.O., McGaw,L.J.,Eloff,
and Naidoo.”Plant extracts to control ticks of veterinary and medical
importance: A review. South African Journal of Botany, 105, pp.178-193.

Habeeb, S.M., 2010 Ethno-veterinary and
medical knowledge of crude plant extracts and its methods of application
(traditional and modern) for tick control. World applied science journal,
11(9), pp. 1047-1054.

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Hi Gray!

This would be great information to validate and share with the network. I am happy to share the recipes explained in the ethnoveterinary materials in our library. Could you please email me at sswartz@echonet.org so that I can facilitate getting you these recipes in the easiest way possible?

Am I correct that you would like the following recipies:

  • Tobacco (Forse, Toyang et al., IIRR)
  • Adenium obesum whole plant (Toyang et al.)
  • Psorospermum febrifugum bark with Tephrosia vogelii leaves and tobacco leaves (Toyang et al.)
  • 100g salt and 250 ml coconut oil (IIRR)
  • 10 g camphor powder in 100 ml coconut oil (IIRR)
  • 50 ml coconut oil, 100 g sulfur, and 50 g tumeric (Cucuma domestica) boiled (IIRR)
  • neem weeds, sugar apple seeds, and tobacco leaves (IIRR)

If I have an incorrect list, please just let me know in your emai. Thanks!



This is a great discussion. Ticks have been a big problem on all our livestock here in Senegal. I am looking forward to trying a simple recipe recommended to us by a vet in Mozambique who uses natural medicine on animals. The recipe, as I received it, is as follows:

1 tablespoon artemesia powder
1 tablespoon of hot pepper (piripiri) powder
1 handful of ricinus communis leaves

boil these together in 1L of water

Dilute in 10L of water and spray directly on livestock.

I am hoping to try this within the next couple of days.



I was intrigued by the recipe so started looking at some of the ingredients in regards to ticks. These links are interesting -

Let us know how you make out with the recipe!

I don’t know whether it is relevant to your research but the Maasai who have been transplanted to the coast in East Africa [and there are quite a lot now after years of government policy to mix peoples] drive their cattle into the sea at low water and keep them in saltwater for about half an hour. Some of the men scrub the backs of the cattle when they are there with salt water. May provide a clue…

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Hi ssnyder
This is great information, I will look through it .

Thank you.

Perused through, fascinated and setting to perform.
Will let you know how I make out with the recipe.

Thank you.

Hello ECHO Community!

Gray would like to share the availability of his publication “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Different Biorationals and Acaricide on Ticks - Control in Cattle.” This publication is open source and details his work spurred on by this conversation! Please be encouraged by his work and dedication to better understanding natural options for tick control.