Ticks are important arthropod vectors of diseases of human, livestock, and wildlife hosts. In the United Kingdom, the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) is increasingly recognized as a main limiting factor of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus) populations, a game bird of high economic value. We evaluated the effectiveness of a new practical technique that could help managers reduce negative impacts of ticks on young grouse. In a replicated field experiment, we treated breeding females with leg bands impregnated with permethrin, a slow-releasing potent acaracide. We found that treatment reduced tick burdens on young chicks. Because this treatment is easily applied, it offers a new practical management tool to tackle problems caused by ticks in game bird populations.
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Vol. 72 • No. 2