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ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » LAPRU » Research » Research Project #434712

Research Project: Integrated Eradication Efforts of the Cattle Fever Tick (CFT)

Location: Livestock Arthropod Pests Research

Project Number: 3094-32000-039-88-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 28, 2019

Objective:
1. Discovery and testing of new vaccines for control of cattle fever ticks and the Babesia pathogen. 2. Develop alternative treatment methods for cattle. 3. Field treatments for horses, corrals, pens, and pasture loafing areas. 4. Develop methods for control of cattle fever ticks on Nilgai antelope. 5. Improve effectiveness of treatments for infested deer. 6. Identify, evaluate and release biological control agents from native range of cattle fever ticks in Southeast Asia and Europe. 7. Improve diagnostic detection of tick-infested/infected animals and pastures. 8. Evaluation of rangeland vegetation that affects survival of cattle fever ticks. 9. Development of artificial rearing systems for ticks to accelerate testing of vaccines, acaricides and biological control agents. 10. Outreach to South Texas ranchers, hunters and landowners to integrate eradication tactics and document sustainability of best practices.

Approach:
Cattle Fever Ticks (CFT), known scientifically as Rhipicephalus (formerly Boophilus) annulatus and Rhipicephalus microplus, threaten the profitability and viability of the United States (U.S.) livestock industry. These ticks transmit the agents causing bovine babesiosis, or cattle tick fever, and anaplasmosis, which can kill cattle. A need exists to find sustainable solutions for the current emergency situation with CFT in the U.S. Integrated management practices that consider the new ecology of CFT and adaptation of precision agro-ecological practices are required to address the livestock-wildlife interface aspect of the problem. Development of novel technologies is also required to eliminate acaricide-resistant CFT.