Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 2000
Publication Date: November 1, 2000
Citation: Pound, J.M., Miller, J.A., George, J.E. 2000. Efficacy of amitraz collars on white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman) (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) against free-living populations of Lone Star Ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae). Journal of Medical Entomology.37(6):878-884 Interpretive Summary: In addition to being the most important wild animal host for ticks that transmit agents causing Lyme disease and human ehrlichiosis to humans, as acceptable hosts for cattle fever ticks, white-tailed deer are also compromising efforts to maintain the eradication of these ticks and the disease agents that cause Texas fever from cattle herds in the U.S. Currently, the only two methods available to control ticks on wild deer are ARS-developed ivermectin medicated bait and the ARS-patented ‘4-Poster’ Deer Treatment Bait Station. The ARS also has patented an automatic self-treatment collaring device that applies single individually-sized collars around necks of deer as perhaps an additional method of controlling ticks on deer. The current study tests the efficacy of pesticide impregnated collars placed on deer to control populations of free-living lone star ticks in an effort to demonstrate the potential impact of this technology in reducing populations of ticks of both medical and veterinary importance.
Technical Abstract: Collars containing the acaricide amitraz were fitted around necks of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann) confined in a 38.8 ha deer-fenced, densely vegetated plot in south Texas to determine efficacy in controlling free-living populations of lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.). Efficacy was compared against densities of free-living lone star ticks in a similar adjacent plot confining untreated deer. Treatments resulted in significant control of both nymphal (77.2%) and adult (85.0%) ticks.