Ixodes spp

From Cow
Adult female Ixodes scapularis

Ixodes spp ticks are a skin parasite of cattle in tropical and temperate regions worldwide[1].

As well as causing 'tick worry' and skin disease, these ticks are vectors for Rickettsia spp, Anaplasma spp[2], Babesia spp[3], Francisella tularensis (Tularaemia), Q fever, sawgrass virus and Powassan virus.

Species which parasitise cattle include:

  • I. ricinus - sheep tick, Eurasia[4]
  • I. gibbosus - Mediterranean
  • I. persulcatus - taiga tick, Eurasia
  • I. sinensis - China
  • I. kashmiricus - northern India, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan
  • I. pavlovskyi - Russia
  • I. kazakstani - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan
  • I. scapularis - USA, Canada
  • I. pacificus - USA
  • I. affinus - USA, Canada
  • I. jellisoni - USA, Canada
  • I. minor - USA, Canada
  • I. muris - USA, Canada
  • I. rubicundus - South Africa
  • I. drakenbergensis - South Africa
  • I. cavipalpus - Zimbabwe, Angola

Control of this parasite is usually effective with topical acaricides such as ivermectin[5], doramectin and fipronil[6].

Commercially available synthetic acaricides are commonly used, but indiscriminate practices in their application have resulted in the rapid evolution of resistance. Although single acaricide treatment can destroy all of the ticks on an animal, they will not prevent reinfestation.

The infested pasture must remain free of all livestock for 6 to 9 months or longer, to break the tick life cycle.


  1. Ruiz-Fons F et al (2012)
  2. Lempereur L et al (2012) Longitudinal field study on bovine Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum infections during a grazing season in Belgium. Parasitol Res 110(4):1525-1530
  3. Agoulon A et al' (2012) A Vegetation Index qualifying pasture edges is related to Ixodes ricinus density and to Babesia divergens seroprevalence in dairy cattle herds. Vet Parasitol 185(2-4):101-109
  4. Aktas M et al (2012) A survey of ixodid ticks feeding on cattle and prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in the Black Sea region of Turkey. Vet Parasitol 187(3-4):567-571
  5. Mehlhorn H et al (2012) The effects of flumethrin (Bayticol® pour-on) on European ticks exposed to treated hairs of cattle and sheep. Parasitol Res 110(6):2181-2186
  6. Kiss T et al (2012) Tick prevention at a crossroad: new and renewed solutions. Vet Parasitol 187(3-4):357-66