Submitted to: Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 31, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The lone star tick is the most important tick pest of humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife in the southeastern, mid-Atlantic, and south- central United States. This species is also a carrier of several human diseases including ehrlichiosis and tularemia. Ehrlichiosis is a rickettsial disease that may have been diagnosed as Rocky Mountain spotted fever in past years. A computer model was developed by scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida to simulate strategies for management of the lone star tick. Technologies considered in this study were area-wide acaricide treatment, acaricide self-treatment of white-tailed deer, vegetation reduction, and white-tailed deer density reduction. Estimated reductions in tick populations using these technologies compared favorably with data from actual tick management studies at five different geographic locations. Overall results of the simulations showed that area-wide acaricide treatments and vegetation reduction, or a combination of the two, would be useful for small-scale, short-term tick management. Acaricide self- treatment of deer and deer density reduction are the most cost-effective technologies for use in long-term, large-scale tick management programs.
Technical Abstract: The simulation model LSTSIM was revised and adapted to estimate the effects of different management strategies on populations of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (Linnaeus) in non-agricultural areas. The control technologies evaluated were area-wide acaricide application, acaricide self-treatment of white-tailed deer, vegetation reduction, and reductions in the density of white-tailed deer. Estimated changes in tick populations using these technologies compared favorably with results from actual integrated tick management studies at five different geographic locations. Area-wide acaricide application and vegetation reduction, as well as combinations of the two technologies proved to be useful for short-term, seasonal management of ticks in small non-agricultural areas and residential sites. Self-treatment of deer with acaricide, applied topically or as a systemic, appears to be the most cost-effective technology for use in area-wide, long-term programs for tick control. The results of simulations suggest that reductions in deer density should be considered as components of any tick management program.