Plant-derived natural compounds for tick pest control in livestock and wildlife: Pragmatism or Utopia?

Danilo G. Quadros, Tammi L. Johnson, Travis R. Whitney, Jonathan D. Oliver, Adela S.Oliva Chávez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Ticks and tick-borne diseases are a significant economic hindrance for livestock production and a menace to public health. The expansion of tick populations into new areas, the occurrence of acaricide resistance to synthetic chemical treatments, the potentially toxic contamination of food supplies, and the difficulty of applying chemical control in wild-animal populations have created greater interest in developing new tick control alternatives. Plant compounds represent a promising avenue for the discovery of such alternatives. Several plant extracts and secondary metabolites have repellent and acaricidal effects. However, very little is known about their mode of action, and their commercialization is faced with multiple hurdles, from the determination of an adequate formulation to field validation and public availability. Further, the applicability of these compounds to control ticks in wild-animal populations is restrained by inadequate delivery systems that cannot guarantee accurate dosage delivery at the right time to the target animal populations. More work, financial support, and collaboration with regulatory authorities, research groups, and private companies are needed to overcome these obstacles. Here, we review the advancements on known plant-derived natural compounds with acaricidal potential and discuss the road ahead toward the implementation of organic control in managing ticks and tick-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number490
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Project #205866 to T.R.W., Hatch Project #1019784 to T.L.J. and Hatch-MultiState Project #TEX0-1-7714 to A.S.O.C.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Natural acaricide
  • Natural repellent
  • Plant extract
  • Tick control
  • Tick-borne diseases

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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