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Tick control device tested
Kerrville, Texas-A patented device developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists is the basis for a five-year study to control ticks on white-tailed deer in the Northeast.
A patented device developed by Agricultural ResearchService (ARS) scientists is the basis for a five-year study to control tickson white-tailed deer in the Northeast.
Blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, transmit the bacterial agent thatcauses human Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi.
The device is called a "four-poster," the United States Departmentof Agriculture (USDA) says. It consists of a bin filled with whole-kernelcorn. On the four corners of the bin are paint rollers loaded with amitraz,an acaricide approved for livestock. As a deer feeds on the corn in thecenter, the animal rubs its head and neck against the amitraz-laden rollers.This invention offers a tick-control alternative to spraying insecticidesinto the environment or to reducing deer populations, according to ARS entomologistJ. Mathews Pound in Kerrville.
Lyme disease occurs mainly in suburban areas with an overabundance ofdeer. That's why USDA implemented a five-year project in the Northeast toreduce ticks on deer. The test sites include residential areas where theincidence of Lyme disease was among the highest in the country when theproject started in 1997: Old Lyme, Conn.; Bedford, N.Y.; Colts Neck, N.J.and Narragansett, R.I. The last test location is at ARS' Henry A. WallaceBeltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland.