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Research Project: Integrated Pest Management of Cattle Fever Ticks

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Title: Integrative alternative tactics for ixodid control

Author
item Showler, Allan
item Saelao, Perot

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2022
Publication Date: 3/18/2022
Citation: Showler, A., Saelao, P. 2022. Integrative alternative tactics for ixodid control. Insects. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13030302.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13030302

Interpretive Summary: Hard ticks are parasitic arthropods that transmit the causal agents of many serious diseases of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife, have become increasingly difficult to control because of the development of resistance against commonly applied synthetic chemical-based acaricides. Resistance has prompted searches for alternative, nonconventional control tactics that can be used as part of integrated ixodid management strategies and for mitigating resistance to conventional acaricides. The quest for alternative control tactics involves research on various techniques, influenced by many factors, that has achieved different degrees of success. Alternative approaches include cultural practices, ingested and injected medications, biological control, animal- and plant-based substances, growth regulators, and inert desiccant dusts. Research on biological control of ixodids has mainly focused on predators, parasitoid wasps, infective nematodes, and pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Although studies on animal-based substances have been limited, research on botanicals has been extensive, including whole plant, extract, and essential oil effects on ixodid mortality, behavior, and reproduction. The inert dusts kaolin, silica gel, perlite, and diatomaceous earth are lethal to ixodids, and they are impervious to environmental degradation, unlike chemical-based toxins, remaining effective until physically removed.

Technical Abstract: Ixodids (hard ticks), ectoparasitic arthropods that vector the causal agents of many serious diseases of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife, have become increasingly difficult to control because of the development of resistance against commonly applied synthetic chemical-based acaricides. Resistance has prompted searches for alternative, nonconventional control tactics that can be used as part of integrated ixodid management strategies and for mitigating resistance to conventional acaricides. The quest for alternative control tactics involves research on various techniques, influenced by many factors, that has achieved different degrees of success. Alternative approaches include cultural practices, ingested and injected medications, biological control, animal- and plant-based substances, growth regulators, and inert desiccant dusts. Research on biological control of ixodids has mainly focused on predators, parasitoid wasps, infective nematodes, and pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Although studies on animal-based substances have been limited, research on botanicals has been extensive, including whole plant, extract, and essential oil effects on ixodid mortality, behavior, and reproduction. The inert dusts kaolin, silica gel, perlite, and diatomaceous earth are lethal to ixodids, and they are impervious to environmental degradation, unlike chemical-based toxins, remaining effective until physically removed.