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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Presumptive evidence for the role of the white-tailed deer in the epidemiology of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) Microplus (Acari: Ixodidae)

Authors
item George, John - RETIRED USDA
item Pound, Joe
item Kammlah, Diane
item Lohmeyer, Kimberly

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 4, 2008
Publication Date: September 3, 2008
Citation: George, J.E., Pound, J.M., Kammlah, D.M., Lohmeyer, K.H. 2008. Presumptive evidence for the role of the white-tailed deer in the epidemiology of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). In: Proceedings of the VI Internacional Seminar of Animal Parasitology, September 3-5, 2008, Vera Cruz, Mexico. 2008 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: From 1907 when the fever tick eradication campaign began until 1933 when the tick eradication methods of dipping cattle in an acaricide and “pasture vacation” failed to eradicate Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus from parts of Florida, the two methods for tick eradication were used with success. In Florida the consensus was that populations of white-tailed deer infested with fever ticks were responsible for the program failure. After numerous deer in several counties were killed, eradication was achieved in Florida. As in Florida, the increasing numbers of failures in Texas of the pasture vacation approach to tick eradication from the 1970’s to the present are known to be related to the abundance of white-tailed deer. A sizable body of evidence confirms the hypothesis that white-tailed deer support the development and spread of B. annulatus and B. microplus within both the permanent Buffer Zone in Texas along the Rio Grande and in the so-called “tick-free” area north and east of the buffer zone. Two Blanket Quarantines, one of 2,519 km2 in tick-free areas of Webb, Dimmit, and Maverick counties and a second one of 1,713 km2 in Zapata, Jim Hogg, and Starr counties, may well have been caused by the spread of fever ticks by white-tailed deer and feral exotic ungulate species. Two proven technologies, feeding of ivermectin-medicated corn and a method (the’ 4-Poster’) for the passive topical treatment of deer with an acaricide, are used to eradicate of populations of fever ticks associated with white-tailed deer.

Technical Abstract: From 1907 when the fever tick eradication campaign began until 1933 when the tick eradication methods of dipping cattle in an acaricide and “pasture vacation” failed to eradicate Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus from parts of Florida, the two methods for tick eradication were used with success. In Florida the consensus was that populations of white-tailed deer infested with fever ticks were responsible for the program failure. After numerous deer in several counties were killed, eradication was achieved in Florida. As in Florida, the increasing numbers of failures in Texas of the pasture vacation approach to tick eradication from the 1970’s to the present are known to be related to the abundance of white-tailed deer. A sizable body of evidence confirms the hypothesis that white-tailed deer support the development and spread of B. annulatus and B. microplus within both the permanent Buffer Zone in Texas along the Rio Grande and in the so-called “tick-free” area north and east of the buffer zone. Two Blanket Quarantines, one of 2,519 km2 in tick-free areas of Webb, Dimmit, and Maverick counties and a second one of 1,713 km2 in Zapata, Jim Hogg, and Starr counties, may well have been caused by the spread of fever ticks by white-tailed deer and feral exotic ungulate species. Two proven technologies, feeding of ivermectin-medicated corn and a method (the’ 4-Poster’) for the passive topical treatment of deer with an acaricide, are used to eradicate of populations of fever ticks associated with white-tailed deer.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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