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

  • Mr Whitey Jordaan, MSc

"Species composition and geographical distribution of ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in Free State Province, South Africa."

  • Ms Sharon Terry, MSc

"A Taxonomic description of all stages of four Ixodes (Acari:Ixodidae) tick species."

  • Ms Octavia Motlogeloa, MSc

"Management strategies and development of resistance to chemical control by the blue tick Rhipicephalus decoloratus, in the Grahamstown (South Africa) Area."

Description: Zoology and Entomology Keywords: Pesticide Resistance UFS

Description: Zoology and Entomology Keywords: Pesticide Resistance


Marketing Manager: Mrs Elfrieda Lötter
T: +27 51 401 2531
E: lottere@ufs.ac.za

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