Alternative to chemical insecticide (ticks & mites) for cattle, pets and poultry
Insects (ticks, mites, fleas, lice etc.) nuisance is not a new problem and well known to everyone since old age especially in the animals. Talking about cattle Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is considered as one of the most widely distributed tick species ecto-parasite on livestock and causes fatal diseases with signiﬁcant production loss. It is posing major threat on economical maintenance of the cattle industry in tropical and sub-tropical countries including India. It causes severe losses by blood feeding, transmitting many fatal pathogens and by direct damage to cattle skins and hides for the leather industries. Today, tick control has become a challenge to researchers exploring a sustainable way to mitigate the problem of tick infestations. Chemicals groups commercially available in the market viz., synthetic pyrethroids, organophosphates, formamidines and macrocyclic lactones are repeatedly used for the control of ticks infesting livestock. These chemicals kill non-target organisms and threaten human health due to the toxic residues in milk and meat. These chemicals act as pollutants for the food from animal sources Intensive use of these chemical acaricides results in the development of resistant tick populations which causes the failure of the chemical-based tick control program. Efforts have been made to develop sustainable immunological means for controlling ticks and tick-borne diseases in order to check the fast development of resistance against acaricides. Two commercial vaccines against R. (B.) microplus were developed and marketed. The vaccine efﬁcacy was found highly variable and farmers' expectation has not been met. Moreover, none of the vaccine is giving signiﬁcant protection against multispecies tick infestations, a common problem faced by the livestock owners of Asia and Africa. Extensive work has been done on plant based natural products having acaricidal activities against many species of ticks including acaricide resistant species as the natural products can delay the development of resistance due to the presence of a number of active molecules having different mode of action. When we are thinking of the phytogenic product which is most affective against tick, mites, fleas and lice infestation with the potential to replace the chemical acaricides only one name come to our mind "Zerokeet". Zerokeet Liquid is herbal ectoparasiticide product for pets and livestock developed by Ayurvet Limited which a self emulsifiable concentrate is containing selected herbs reputed for their insecticidal and insect growth regulator activities. Zerokeet is containing extracts of Cedrus deodara, Pongamia glabra, Azadiracta indica, Eucalyptus globulus and Acorus calamus recommended for the control of ticks, ﬂeas lice and mites. The constituent herbs of Zerokeet liquid have a long record of safety for men, animals & environment. Being an integral part of biosphere they are fully biodegradable besides possessing pesticidal & insect repellant properties. These constituent herbs act in synergism and possibly increase the insecticidal & repellant efficacy of individual plants by multiple mode.eg.
A study was conducted to assess the comparative efﬁcacy of Zerokeet with both herbal and chemical products. One is Erina-EP, which is a herbal product of The Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore, India, and other is chemical product which is the most aggressively marketed anti-tick chemical, "Butox Vet" a product of Intervet India Pvt. Ltd.
Method and Material:
Three resistant tick lines, diazinon-resistant IVRI-3, deltamethrin-resistant IVRI-4, and multi-acaricide resistant IVRI-5 of R. (B.) microplus are continuously maintained at the Entomology Laboratory of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI). For maintaining different resistant tick lines (IVRI-3, IVRI-4 and IVRI-5) separate male cross-bred calves (Bos taurus 9 B. indicus) of 6–8 months old were used.
In vitro efﬁcacy:
Engorged females of resistant tick lines were collected from ear bags of the animals were tested in vitro either by Adult Immersion Test (AIT) format or as product use guidelines provided by the company.
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