A study was undertaken to determine the seasonal abundance of the ticks infesting cattle owned by resource-limited farmers in the northeastern Free State Province of South Africa. Infestations of Boophilus decoloratus, Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi, R. follis, R. gertrudae and Rhipicephalus warburtoni were monitored on cattle of mixed breeds at monthly intervals from May 1998 to April 1999. High tick intensity on the cattle was observed between March and June, with a peak in May to June 1998 for B. decoloratus and R. evertsi evertsi. Few ticks from the other three species were recovered from the cattle. Small peaks in November to December 1998 for R. warburtoni and in December 1998 for R. follis and R. gertrudae were observed. Following the winter (June to August), numbers of B. decoloratus declined markedly, while those of R. evertsi evertsi and other rhipicephalids increased. These results represent the first published information on ticks of veterinary importance infesting cattle in the northeastern part of the Free State Province.
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