Which insecticide should I use?

Treat cattle with an insecticide specifically designed for the purpose of controlling tsetse. Formulations designed for controlling ticks (e.g. Amitraz) are not necessarily effective against tsetse, although in most cases formulations effective against tsetse will also kill ticks.

The formulations effective against tsetse will generally be either a suspension concentrate or a pour-on formulation of a persistent pyrethroid such as deltamethrin, alphacypermethrin or beta-cyfluthrin. It is best to use formulations that have been independently tested against tsetse, and proven to be effective in tsetse control operations (Vale et al., 1999).

There are an increasing number of locally produced formulations, and these may be cheaper and as effective as the formulations produced by multinational suppliers. However, slight changes in formulation, such as using cheaper oils to formulate pour-ons, can have profound effects on efficacy. Consequently, it is best to be either certain that these less common formulations have been properly tested, and/or test it yourself.

If in doubt, use a well known brand of insecticide that is known to be effective against tsetse.


Vale G.A., Mutika G., Lovemore D.F. (1999). Insecticide-treated cattle for controlling tsetse flies (Diptera : Glossinidae): some questions answered, many posed. Bulletin of Entomological Research 89(6):569-78. PubMed PMID: ISI:000086387600010.