When white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, feed on corn bait dispensed by 4-poster tick control devices, they rub against paint rollers impregnated with acaricide. Gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, also feed on the corn bait in the feeding troughs of 4-posters, but in doing so, leave abundant corn fragments and meal that impede the flow of uneaten corn into the troughs. Large accumulations of fragments and meal adversely affect the operation of 4-posters and their use by deer. A battery-operated closure mechanism controlled by a photo sensor was developed to block the flow of corn into the troughs during the day when squirrels are active and deer infrequently visit 4-posters. The effectiveness of the diurnal corn restriction (DCR) concept and restriction mechanism was tested in a field trial at a tick-infested site in Maryland. DCR effectively eliminated accumulation of whole corn, partially eaten corn and corn meal in corn troughs associated with squirrel feeding. At the same time, deer usage of 4-posters was not diminished.
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