Ticks are our passion because of their intricate physiologically-driven behaviour and adaptability to their surroundings, enabling them to survive from day to day and from season to season, which is mind-boggling. However, ticks are also the cause of great financial losses to stock producers due to their direct feeding habit, as well as the role they play in the transmission of disease vectors. To counteract this influence on the cattle industry, their numbers are mainly restricted through the use of acaracides, especially in areas where the climate is favourable to tick survival. The intensive use of acaricides has, however, led to the development of tick resistance to these chemical control measures, with an added financial impact on the cattle farming industry. The Tick Research group therefore consists of two divisions in order to address the problems caused by ticks and tick resistance development against chemical control.

An Entrepreneurial Division

The Pesticide Resistance Testing Facility (PRTF) is aimed at providing a service to producers and pharmaceutical companies by using laboratory testing to determine the presence and extent of tick resistance against chemical control in a specific area. This information is used by the farming industry in deciding on the use of chemical control measures for tick control, as well as for the management of acaricide resistance in the field in order to prolong the life expectancy of chemical control.

A Research Division

Current research is aimed at studying economically important tick species, associations with their hosts, behavioural patterns in various changing climate conditions, and new avenues of controlling them. Molecular and biochemical evaluation of resistance development in a population seen in the laboratory is coordinated with the field expression of this resistance development, in order to set up more accurate and rapid testing methods for the evaluation of tick resistance. Other, more natural control methods are also currently under scrutiny in our study group.

Description: Zoology and Entomology Keywords: Pesticide Resistance

Description: Zoology and Entomology Keywords: Pesticide Resistance

Study group members

Postgraduate students and research titles


Marais, A. MSc Dissertation:The distribution of Babesia bigemina and Babesia bovis transmitted by Rhipicephalus spp. on a farm in the Eastern Cape. Supervisor: EMSP van Dalen.


Lesenyeho, SK. MSc Dissertation: Resistance of the African blue tick (Rhipicephalus [Boophilusdecoloratus) to macrocyclic lactones in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Supervisor: EMSP van Dalen - received degree June 2019

Pottinger, M. MSc Dissertation: The distribution of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus on a farm in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Supervisor: EMSP van Dalen - received degree June 2019

Motolo, TC. MSc Dissertation: The cascading trophic accumulation of Aldicarb in a carrion ecosystem: the forensic implications. Supervision: Dr S. L. Brink, Co-Supervisor: EMSP van Dalen - received degree June 2019

Esterhuysen, M. MSc  Dissertation: Arthropod resistance presented by Zebu (Bos indicus), Brahman breed cattle and their crosses with Bos taurus cattle in the Free State, South Africa. Supervisor: EMSP van Dalen. Co-supervisor: Dr S Brink. – received degree June 2018

Jordaan, AJ.
 MSc Dissertation: Geographic distribution of Ixodes (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks in the Free State Province and seasonality of those associated with African Buffalo. Supervisor: Horak, IG. Co-supervisor: EMSP van Dalen. - received degree  March 2012

Description: Zoology and Entomology Keywords: Pesticide Resistance UFS

Description: Zoology and Entomology Keywords: Pesticide Resistance


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531


Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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