The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the use of neem seed extract for controlling common cattle ticks of the Ixodidae species. Three bulls and three cows of the Tswana, Brahman and Simmentaler breeds were cleared of ticks using ether and hand-picking techniques. Each animal was then naturally infested with ticks. A 5% (w/v) water extract of neem seed kernel was applied at a rate of 5 g/kg body weight to various anatomical sites on the animals allocated to the experimental treatment, while the control treatment animals were sprayed with tap water. Treated and control animals grazed together and were mustered at weekly intervals for examination. Tick population densities on animals treated with neem seed extract were lower than on untreated animals. Indigenous Tswana cattle harboured fewer ticks during periods of tick abundance than Brahman or Simmentaler cattle. It was concluded that neem seed extract is effective in controlling ectoparasites on livestock.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher