Submitted to: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 23, 2009
Publication Date: August 4, 2009
Citation: Carroll, J.F., Pound, J.M., Miller, J.A., Kramer, M.H. 2009. Sustained control of Gibson Island, MD populations of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanium (Acari:Ixodidae) by community-administered '4-Poster' deer self-treatment bait stations. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 9:417-421. Interpretive Summary: Ticks and tick-borne diseases are serious problems in the U. S. and many parts of the world. The USDA, ARS, Northeast Area-wide Tick Control Project (NEATCP) showed that the ‘4-poster’ deer self-treatment device was effective in reducing populations of blacklegged (deer) ticks and lone star ticks. In 2003, about one year after NEATCP treatments ceased on Gibson Island, MD, the Gibson Island Corporation purchased 15 newly marketed (Dandux™)‘4-posters’ and have operated them until the present. We have sampled populations of host-seeking blacklegged and lone star tick nymphs on Gibson Island and a similar untreated area on the nearby mainland annually (1998-2007). On Gibson Island, densities of both species of ticks have remained at the low levels achieved during NEATCP, in spite of increased deer density and the use of 40% fewer ‘4-posters.’ The history of tick control on Gibson Island (1998-2007) shows that in the hands of its intended users, the ‘4-poster’ technology can suppress populations of blacklegged and lone star ticks. These findings are of interest to scientists investigating methods of tick control, and to persons involved in tick control at community, institutional, municipal, and various governmental levels.
Technical Abstract: In 1998, 25 ‘4-poster’ tick control devices were deployed on Gibson Island, MD as part of the USDA Northeast Area-Wide Tick Control Project (NEATCP). Treatments concluded in June, 2002, having achieved 80 and 99.5% control of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, and lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum. No area-wide tick control was attempted again on the island until 2003, when 15 Dandux™ -manufactured ‘4-posters’ were purchased by the Gibson Island Corporation and operated until the present. Annual flagging at sites on the island and a similar untreated area on the nearby mainland in May and June from 1998-2007 has shown that since 2001 populations of host-seeking nymphs of both species of ticks have remained consistently low (=22% of 1998-1999 levels) in all subsequent years, in spite of 40% fewer ‘4-posters’ after NEATCP and an increased deer density. The history of tick control on Gibson Island from 2003-2007 demonstrates that in the hands of competent and motivated personnel adhering to a single plan, ‘4-poster’ technology can be an effective tool in suppressing populations of I. scapularis and A. americanum.