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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2009 Aug;9(4):381-7. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2008.0197.

Acaricidal treatment of white-tailed deer to control Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a New York Lyme disease-endemic community.

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Vector Ecology Laboratory, Louis Calder Center, Fordham University, Armonk, New York 10504, USA.


The efficacy of topically treating white-tailed deer with an acaricide was evaluated in a Lyme disease-endemic community of southern New York State. Twenty-four 4-Poster feeders were placed in a 5.2 km(2) treatment area in Bedford, NY, while a site in Lewisboro, NY, 4.8 km distant, served as control. Treatment periods ran from 15 September to 15 December each fall from 1997 to 2001, and from 15 March to 15 May each spring from 1998 to 2002. Corn consumption averaged 15,779 kg in fall sessions and 9054 kg in spring sessions, and a mean of 89.6% of deer in the study area showed evidence of using the feeders. Deer densities, estimated by aerial snow counts, averaged 22 and 28 deer per km(2) in Bedford and Lewisboro, respectively, over a 3-year period. Significant reductions in tick numbers on deer captured in the treatment area were noted in fall 1999 compared to deer captured at the control site. Drag sampling for nymphal host-seeking ticks indicated 63.6% control in 2001, which dropped to 54.8% the following year, but reached 80% in 2003. Higher-than-normal acorn production in 2001 that likely caused a drop in deer visitation to the feeders may have reduced efficacy against larval ticks in 2002. The 4-Poster effectively reduced the density of Ixodes scapularis, though the level of control is dependent on environmental factors that affect feeding behavior of white-tailed deer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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