Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 3, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: There are many possible pathways for the introduction of nonindigenous insects, ticks, and mites into the U.S. The elaborate system developed to protect against entry by unwanted exotic arthropods has been used by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to intercept many pest species including 59 interceptions of exotic pests on livestock during the period from 1958 through 1990. In spite of these efforts two Old World flies, one a facultative parasite and the other a mechanical vector of pathogens occurring in human and livestock feces, and the Asian tiger mosquito, a major vector of human disease agents, have become established in the U.S. within the last decade. Major eradication programs have resulted in the successful eradication of such introduced pests as cattle fever ticks, the red-legged tick, the tropical bont tick, and the screwworm. Although the future ingress of foreign arthropod pests of livestock and poultry is of major concern, the potential threat of the 17 known arthropod-borne foreign disease agents that could accompany their introduction should not be underrated. Vigilance must be maintained and preparations made to contain and eradicate outbreaks of any exotic arthropods of veterinary importance and the foreign animal disease agents they transmit.
Technical Abstract: Many of the pests of livestock in the U.S. are nonindigenous species of insects, mites, and ticks that entered the country from various parts of the world, and there is a constant threat of the ingress of additional pests. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA, charged with the responsibility of protecting against the introduction of unwanted pests, documented 59 interceptions of arthropod pests of livestock from 1958 through 1990. In spite of excellent efforts by APHIS Chrysomya rufifacies, a facultative parasite, and C. megacephala, a mechanical vector of pathogens occurring in human and livestock feces, are two Old World species of flies that have become established in the U. S. within the last decade. Several major introduced parasites of livestock have been eradicated including cattle fever ticks, the red-legged tick, the tropical bont tick, and the screwworm. Although foreign arthropod pests of livestock and poultry are of major concern in their own right, the potential threat of the 17 know arthropod-borne foreign disease agents that could accompany their introduction should not be underrated. Future threats to the U. S. livestock and poultry industries posed by exotic arthropods and exotic arthropod-borne diseases must not be ignored.