Have You Herd? AABP PodCasts

Cattle Fever Ticks

May 16, 2022 AABP
Have You Herd? AABP PodCasts
Cattle Fever Ticks
Show Notes

AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich is joined by AABP member Dr. Dee Ellis, a veterinarian at Texas A&M University and who was previously the Texas state veterinarian.  Ellis discusses the Texas Cattle Fever tick, species Rhipicephalus microplus and R. annulatus.
He describes the history of the tick control program, which dates from more than 150 years ago with the quarantine zone in south Texas established in 1943. Currently,  more than 1 million acres are in the quarantine zone. The fever tick spreads the disease babesiosis which can cause severe disease in adult cattle with up to 90% mortality in naïve cattle. Calves have an innate immunity resulting in mild disease; however, recovered calves can have up to 50 pounds less weight at weaning. We discuss treatment options for cattle infested with the ticks which includes dipping with an organophosphate product or injectable avermectin products. Wildlife vectors remain a challenge and Ellis discusses management of wildlife and treatment of wildlife in pastures where cattle are raised. Ellis also reviews a recent research project that looked at varying doses of eprinomectin to establish if a longer treatment interval would control the ticks on exposed cattle. The results of the study found that Long Range® at the label dose will have a residual effect on preventing tick infestation by up to 123 days, and doubling the dose extends the effect up to 145 days after the last treatment. Research for controlling and treating the ticks is need which includes a better understanding of diagnostic methods for infested pastures, wildlife treatment options, biologic control agents and vaccines against babesiosis and the tick vector. 


Texas A&M University Department of Entomology Resource

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Resource:

USDA Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program: