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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF TICKS OF VETERINARY AND HUMAN IMPORTANCE

Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

Title: Acaricidal Treatment of White-Tailed Deer to Control Ixodes Scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a New York Lyme Disease-Endemic Community)

Author
item Daniels, Thomas
item Falco, Richard
item Mchugh, Erin
item Vellozzi, James
item Boccia, Theresa
item Denicola, Anthony
item Pound, Joe
item Miler, J.
item George, John
item Fish, Durland

Submitted to: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2009
Publication Date: 8/1/2009
Citation: Daniels, T.J., Falco, R.C., Mchugh, E.E., Vellozzi, J., Boccia, T., Denicola, A.J., Pound, J.M., Miler, J.A., George, J.E., Fish, D. 2009. Acaricidal Treatment of White-Tailed Deer to Control Ixodes Scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a New York Lyme Disease-Endemic Community. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

Interpretive Summary: The ARS-patented 4-Poster Deer Treatment Bait Station for the topical treatment of white-tailed deer, against blacklegged ticks using the acaricide amitraz, was evaluated in a Lyme borreliosis endemic community in Connecticut. The 4-Posters were active October to mid-December and March into May that corresponded to the peak periods of activity for adult ticks in this particular area. Usage of 4-Posters by deer generally was greater than 90%, except during periods of high acorn crops in the falls of 1998 and 2001. From 1999 through 2003, there were 46.1%, 49.6%, 63.4%, 64.6%, and 70.2% reductions in host-seeking, nymphal ticks in treatment areas, respectively, when compared with tick populations in the untreated community. The passive topical application to deer of the acaricide amitraz resulted in a significant decrease in the population of free-living, blacklegged tick nymphs in the treatment area in Connecticut.

Technical Abstract: The 4-Poster device for the topical treatment of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann) against ticks using the acaricide amitraz was evaluated in a Lyme borreliosis endemic community in Connecticut. As part of a 5-year project from 1997 to 2002, 21–24 of the 4-Posters were distributed at residential sites in Old Lyme, CT, in a core treatment area of ˜5.2km2 in fall 1997. The 4-Posters were active October to mid-December and March into May, corresponding to the peak periods of activity for adult Ixodes scapularis in this particular area. Corn consumption ranged from 361 to 4789 kg/month for October and November and 696–3130 kg/month during April. Usage of 4-Posters by deer generally was high (>90%), except during acorn masts in fall 1998 and 2001. Amitraz was applied by rollers at the estimated rate of 1.3 g active ingredient/ha/year. The abundance of host-seeking, I. scapularis nymphs declined significantly ( p<0.001) in the core treatment area, as compared to a control community in Old Saybrook, CT, through 2004, over the project period from 1998 to 2003, from 9.3/100m2 to 0.97/100m2, rising to 1.90/100m2 in 2004. From 1999 through 2003, there were 46.1%, 49.6%, 63.4%, 64.6%, and 70.2% reductions, respectively, in the nymphal tick population in comparison with the untreated community and initial tick abundance in 1998. Control of I. scapularis adults declined to only 19.1% in 2004; 2 years after the treatment of deer was discontinued. Differences in nymphal tick abundance between the control and core treatment area were significant in 1999 ( p=0.042) and highly significant in 2001 ( p<0.001) and 2002 ( p=0.002). The passive topical application to deer of the acaricide amitraz resulted in a significant decrease in the population of free-living, I. scapularis nymphs in the treated core in Connecticut.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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