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J Med Entomol. 2010 Nov;47(6):1107-15.

Field applications of entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) for the control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

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Department of Entomology, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT 06504, USA.


Two commercial formulations of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin were applied to residential sites in Old Lyme, CT, for the control of nymphs of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, in 1999 and 2000. The pyrethroid bifenthrin was applied to other premises for comparison with B. bassiana. A wood chip barrier was installed and maintained at six of the treated properties. In 1999, control of I. scapularis nymphs ranged from 74.5 to 83.0% on lawns without wood chips and from 88.9 to 90% on lawns with wood chip barriers. As a control check, no ticks (n = 23) collected at pretreatment or control sites died from B. bassiana, although 15 of 18 nymphs from treated lawns developed mycoses. Control of I. scapularis on the lawns in 2000 with the two B. bassiana products was lower, as follows: 38.0 and 58.7% without the barrier and 56.9 and 55.1% with the wood chip barrier. Posttreatment differences in nymphal numbers between treatments and control were significant (P = 0.005 and P = 0.039, 1999 and 2000, respectively). The bifenthrin provided 86 and 87% control each year, respectively. The application of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin strain F52 to 9 residential sites in Westport and Weston, CT, in 2002 provided significant (P = 0.034; P = 0.039) reductions in nymphal tick abundance with 55.6 and 84.6% fewer ticks on lawn and woodland plots, respectively. These results suggest the application of entomopathogenic fungi could provide another approach for the control of I. scapularis nymphs in residential or similar landscapes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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