02102-A: Stopping Tick Infestation to Prevent Human and Canine Disease

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,960
Dr. Emma Natalie Ivy Weeks, PhD, University of Florida
April 1, 2014 - March 31, 2015
Sponsor(s): Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., Scottish Terrier Club of America
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease

Project Summary

The brown dog tick (BDT), Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the most widely distributed tick across the world, vectors the pathogens that cause canine ehrlichiosis and babesiosis. Prevention of these diseases is accomplished through tick control. However, as BDT’s can complete their life cycle indoors, management of infestations is difficult. Indoor infestations are increasing and unpublished data suggest this may be due to pesticide (acaricide) resistance in domestic populations. Acaricide resistance leads to aggressive treatment regimes, which in turn, leads to increased exposure of humans and pets to acaricide residues. The effect of chronic exposure to pesticide residues remains under studied, however, dogs have been shown to be the companion animal most frequently poisoned with pesticides (Berny, Caloni et al. 2010). Conventional acaricide alternatives are needed. The BDT aggregates in cracks and crevices; at any one time 95% of the population is in these aggregations. In taking advantage of this behavior trait, a treatment could be applied directly to these refuge areas. Our study tested available conventional pesticides along with pathogenic fungi, desiccants, and botanicals that could be applied as dust formulations into cracks and crevices. Through a serious of five experiments we identified several products that would be effective components of a brown dog tick integrated pest management program. While at high humidity products containing pyrethroids, pyrethrum and pathogenic fungi performed the best at lower humidity (such as within the home) desiccants and botanicals also were effective. Direct application of a single or combination of the products tested to refuges should enhance control while reducing resident and companion animal exposure to pesticides.

Publication(s)

Manuscript in preparation.

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