Unfed adult Ixodes scapularis Say were treated with spores of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae Metschnikoff in the laboratory and in the field. An M. anisopliae suspension containing 4 × 109 spores per milliliter caused 96% mortality in the laboratory, versus 53% mortality among field-treated ticks. The LC50 value for unfed adult I. scapularis in the laboratory was 4 × 107 spores per milliliter. Our results indicate that M. anisopliae was highly pathogenic to unfed adult ticks and showed potential for controlling questing adult I. scapularis.
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Vol. 39 • No. 5