Development of a new approach of pasture management to control Rhipicephalus microplus infestation

  • Thomas HüeEmail author
  • Chloé Fontfreyde
Regular Articles


Despite several decades of chemical control, the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus remains an important constraint for cattle farmers. The regular use of chemicals has led to the development of tick strains that are multi-resistant to acaricides. New methods of tick control are being developed and combined in integrated tick management programs. Grazing management is one part of these control methods. However, until now, grazing management consisted essentially of resting pastures for 4 to 5 months. This amount of time is generally sufficient to allow for natural tick larvae mortality to occur, but this method often compromises the quality of forages, which is less than optimal at the time of arrival of the animals in the paddock. In this paper, we propose a new approach to pasture management-based tick control that optimizes forage production. It is based on tick development biological parameters, herd management and strategic treatments. This approach was tested for 2 years on two farms raising tick-susceptible European breeds of cattle under tropical conditions. The number of chemical treatments decreased respectively by 82.9% and 70.9%. This cost-effective approach may prove useful in decreasing the number of acaricidal treatments on farms facing high tick loads.


Rhipicephalus microplus Pasture management  Integrated tick control 



The authors would like to thank Frédéric Stachurski, Ann Dernburg, and Chloé Lafleur for their critical reading of the text.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

ESM 1 (JPG 663 kb)


  1. Barré, N., Delathière, J.M., 2010. Stratégies de lutte contre la tique du bétail en Nouvelle Calédonie. Synthèse des connaissances. IAC Editions, 108 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Bianchi, M.W., Barré, N., 2003. Factors affecting the detachment rhythm of engorged Boophilus microplus female ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) from Charolais steers in New Caledonia. Veterinary Parasitology, 112 (4), 325–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chambre d’agriculture de Nouvelle Calédonie, 1989. Catalogue fourrager. Collection Agriculture Nouvelle, 64 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Desquesnes, M., Vignon, L., 1987. A preliminary study aimed at integrating pasture rotation with tick control in New Caledonia. Revue Elevage Médecine Vétérinaire Nouvelle Calédonie, 10, 13–19.Google Scholar
  5. Gomes, L.V.C., Lopes, W.D.Z., Cruz, B.C., Teixeira, W.F., Felippelli, G., Maciel, W.G., Bichuette, M.A., Ruivo, M.A., Colli, M.H.A., Carvalho, R.S., Martinez, A.C., Soares, V.E., da Costa, A.J., 2015. Acaricidal effects of fluazuron (2.5 mg/kg) and a combination of fluazuron (1.6 mg/kg) + ivermectin (0.63 mg/kg), administered at different routes, against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus parasitizing cattle. Experimental Parasitology, 153, 22–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Harley, K.L.S., 1966. Studies on the survival of the non-parasitic stages of the cattle tick Boophilus microplus in three climatically dissimilar districts of north Queensland. Australian Journal of Agriculture Research, 17(3), 387–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harley, K.L.S., Wilkinson, P.R., 1964. A comparison of cattle tick control by “conventional” acaricidal treatment, planned dipping, and pasture spelling. Australian Journal of Agriculture Research, 15(5), 841–853.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hitchcock, L.F., 1955a. Studies on the parasitic stages of the cattle tick, Boophilus microplus (Canestrini) (Acarina: Ixodidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 3(2), 145–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hitchcock, L. F., 1955b. Studies on the non parasitic stages of the cattle tick, Boophilus microplus (Canestrini) (Acarina: Ixodidae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 3(3), 295–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hüe T., Hurlin J.C, Teurlai M., Naves M., 2014. Comparison of tick resistance of crossbred Senepol x Limousin to purebred Limousin cattle. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 46(2), 447–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hüe, T., Petermann, J., Bonnefond, R., Mermoud, I., Rantoen, D., Vuocolo, T., 2017. Experimental efficacy of a vaccine against Rhipicephalus australis. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 73(2), 245–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kunz, S.E., Kemp, D.H., 1994. Insecticides and acaricides: resistance and environmental impact. Revue Scientifique et Technique de l’OIE, 13(4), 1249–1286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Legg, J., 1930. Some observations on the life history of the cattle tick (Boophilus australis). In Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 41(8), 121–132.Google Scholar
  14. Petermann J, Cauquil L., Hurlin J.C., Gaia H., Hüe T., 2016. Survey of cattle tick, Riphicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, resistance to amitraz and deltamethrin in New Caledonia. Veterinary Parasitology, 217, 64–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sutherst, R. W., Dallwitz, M. J., Utech, K. B. W., Kerr, J. D., 1977. Aspects of Host Finding by the Cattle Tick, Boophilus microplus. Australian Journal of Zoology, 26(1), 159–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Wharton, R.H., 1970. The relation between engorgement and dropping of Boophilus microplus (Canestrini) (Ixodidae) to the assessment of tick numbers on cattle. Australian Journal of Entomology, 9(3), 171–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wharton, R.H., Harley, K.L.S., Wilkinson, P.R., Utech, K.B., Kelley, B. M., 1969. A comparison of cattle tick control by pasture spelling, planned dipping, and tick-resistant cattle. Australian Journal of Agriculture Research, 20(4), 783–797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wilkinson, P.R., 1957. The spelling of pasture in cattle tick control. Australian Journal of Agriculture Research, 8(4), 414–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wilkinson, P.R., 1964. Pasture spelling as a control measure for cattle ticks in southern Queensland. Australian Journal of Agriculture Research, 15(5), 822–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Agronomique néo-CalédonienEquipe ARBOREALPaïtaNew Caledonia
  2. 2.Groupement de Défense Sanitaire AnimalChambre d’Agriculture de Nouvelle CalédonieNouméa CedexNew Caledonia

Personalised recommendations