Evaluating the effectiveness of botanicals locally used in tick control amongst the cattle keeping communities of Northern Uganda Districts of Gulu and Amuru
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This research work aimed at documenting and evaluating the effectiveness of botanicals locally used in tick control amongst the cattle keeping communities of northern Uganda districts of Gulu and Amuru. The documentation of the botanicals was accomplished by carrying out guided interviews with the cattle keepers on their knowledge of ethnobotanicals used for tick control. The interviewees were selected purposively (25 years and above only) but irrespective of gender. Information on local names, methods of preparation and administration of the plant products were captured. A total of 13 plant species belonging to 8 families were documented as locally perceived to control ticks. Of these, 4 plants that were most commonly cited by the cattle keepers for tick control were subsequently selected for evaluation of tick mortality and repellence in the laboratory bioassays. The plant extracts were evaluated for tick mortality responses using FAO Stone Packet Technique where Whartman® filter paper packets were impregnated with the extracts and distilled water for treatment and control groups, respectively. The repellence effects were investigated by the fingertip bioassay. The results showed that the best performing plant species, in order of decreasing efficacies, were Cassia didymobotrya, Kigelia africana, Cissus adenocucaulis and Euphorbia hirta. The factors associated with the death of the ticks included plant species, duration of exposure to test extracts and concentrations. The lethal concentration (LC) values of the plant extracts decreased with the duration of exposure. The study also demonstrated that all plant extracts evaluated showed repellence effects, with Cassia didymobotrya and Kigelia africana providing the best repellence percentages of 76-88%. This revealed the unexploited potential of these plants for tick control that can be integrated with other tick management systems for use by the resource-poor livestock farmers in northern Uganda.