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Controlling tsetse with insecticide-treated cattle

Do I need to treat the whole animal with insecticide?

Treat the whole body…
The traditional method of treating cattle with insecticide to control tsetse usually follows the standard practices used for controlling ticks: the whole body is treated by either dipping or spraying the animal to run-off with a dip wash, or a pour on formulation is applied along the animal’s back line.

...or just where tsetse land?
Studies of various species of tsetse in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa and Burkina Faso have shown that most tsetse land and feed on the legs and/or belly of cattle. So with the standard method of treating cattle most of the insecticide is applied to the places where tsetse don’t land!

However, by treating just the legs and belly of cattle, we can reduce the amount of insecticide used by 80% and still get good control. This ‘restricted application’ of insecticide not only saves money and the need for expensive plunge dips or spray races and spraying equipment, but is also safer for the environment.

So what’s best?
It depends what you are trying to control. If your main concern is ticks then follow the standard procedure, as instructed on the label. If your main concern is tsetse, then the restricted application method will be cheaper. To see examples of the standard and restricted application procedures for a 1% formulation of deltamethrin pour–on look here.

But I want to control ticks and tsetse!
Farmers in Uganda were concerned about ticks and tsetse, so they sprayed the legs, belly and ears of their cattle with deltamethrin which provided good control of tsetse and various species of tick including the brown ear tick (Rhipicephalus).

In Burkina Faso, farmers found that using a footbath to treat the legs of their cattle with deltamethrin provided good control of tsetse and bont ticks (Amblyomma).

This is still an area of research and if you want to know more, look here or at the technical papers below.

Bouyer, J., F. Stachurski, I. Kaboré, B. Bauer and R. Lancelot. (2006) Tsetse control in cattle from pyrethroid footbaths. Preventive Veterinary Medicine (in press).

Stachurski, F., J. Bouyer and F. Bouyer. (2006) La lutte contre les ectoparasites des bovins par pédiluve : une méthode innovante utilisée en zone péri-urbaine sub-humide du Burkina Faso. Revue d’Elevage et de Médicine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux 58, 221-228.

Torr, S.J., Maudlin, I. & Vale, G.A. (2007) Less is more: the restricted application of insecticide to cattle to improve the cost and efficacy of tsetse control. Medical & Veterinary Entomology (in press).


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Procedures for treating cattle with a 1% formulation of deltamethrin pour–on to control tsetse

Standard Procedure:
Apply 1 ml per 10 kg of body mass as a strip along the middle of the
back from shoulder to hip.

Repeat every 4 weeks in the dry season, every 2 weeks in the rains.

Restricted application procedure:
Apply a total of 10 ml per animal,as a dose of 2 ml to the top of each leg and the middle of the belly. Usage may be further reduced by only treating the larger animals, i.e. over 300 kg.

Repeat every 4 weeks in the dry season, every 2 weeks in the rains.

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