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3 February 2023 Desiccant Dusts, With and Without Bioactive Botanicals, Lethal to Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus Canestrini (Ixodida: Ixodidae) in the Laboratory and on Cattle
Allan T. Showler, Jessica L. Harlien
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Abstract

The exotic southern cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini) (Ixodida: Ixodidae), since its eradication from the United States in 1943, made a strong incursion into Texas, beginning 2016. The pest is arguably the most economically detrimental ectoparasite of cattle, Bos taurus L., worldwide. Current R. (B.) microplus control mostly relies on conventional synthetic acaricides to which the ixodid has been developing resistance. Our study demonstrates that commercially available desiccant dust products, with and without bioactive botanical additives, are strongly lethal, when applied dry, against larval R. (B.) microplus in the laboratory, and after being released on dust-treated cattle. Deadzone (renamed Celite 610, a diatomaceous earth product), Drione (silica gel + pyrethrins + piperonyl butoxide synergist), and EcoVia (silica gel + thyme oil), each prophylactically prevented larval R. (B.) microplus from attaching to and feeding on stanchioned calves. Desiccant dust-based products are less likely than conventional synthetic acaricides to decline in terms of efficacy as a result of ixodid resistance, and other desiccant dust advantages, including extended residual, flexibility in terms of application methods, environmental, animal, and human safety, and possible compatibility with organic, or ‘green’, production systems, are discussed. We anticipate that the desiccant dusts we evaluated, and others not included in this study (e.g., kaolin, perlite, and silica gel) will be effective when used with other control tactics in integrated pest management approaches for controlling R. (B.) microplus (and other ixodid species).

Allan T. Showler and Jessica L. Harlien "Desiccant Dusts, With and Without Bioactive Botanicals, Lethal to Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus Canestrini (Ixodida: Ixodidae) in the Laboratory and on Cattle," Journal of Medical Entomology 60(2), 346-355, (3 February 2023). https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjad010
Received: 6 November 2022; Accepted: 19 December 2022; Published: 3 February 2023
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KEYWORDS
cattle fever tick
control
diatomaceous earth
IPM
Silica
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