A protocol was developed to control an exotic tick (Aponomma komodoense) infestation on three Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at a Florida zoo without direct application of acaricides to the lizards. With the Komodo dragons secured within their indoor pens, their outdoor enclosures and the exhibition area were sprayed with a formulation of permethrin prepared specifically for use with reptiles. Once the acaricide had dried, the Komodo dragons were allowed to return to their outdoor enclosures, whereupon the indoor pens were closed and sprayed with the same formulation. After this initial treatment, the outdoor and indoor areas were retreated every 2 wk and 8–10 wk, respectively, for 6 mo. The initial on-host and off-host tick count of 301 ticks fell to 0 ticks after 6 mo. No adverse effects of the acaricide treatment were observed on the lizards during daily monitoring.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2