The fowl tick (Argas miniatus Koch)


Material Information

The fowl tick (Argas miniatus Koch)
Physical Description:
Bishopp, F. C ( Fred Corry ), 1884-1970
Government Printing Office ( Washington )
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aleph - 29647204
oclc - 27980554
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Full Text

-- _ I .r ..W .1I,

L 0. HOWARD. ""oiA and C],f of B Iau.



F. C. BI-1 IOPI',
2,' ltImol." I A-.fss1itant.

7i-M4 - ; t BINTING OFTCE : IT


L. 0. HOWARD, l:nl,4r16ogist and Chirf of Bureau.
C. L. MARLATT, .'7n,',,,i',I-,lii. and Acting Chief in Absence of Chief.
R. S. CLIFTON, Executive Assistant.
W. F. TASTET, Chief ('i lci Ak.

F. H. CHITTENDEN, iln ',a,ic- of truck crop and .'Iore'l product insect iin rCe'4ioations.
A. D. HOPKINS, in charge of forest insect investigations.
W. D. HUNTER, in charge of southern pI, II crop insect i'ni r.-.tifirtiii'.
F. M. WEBSTER, in l h-1ii', of cereal and forage insect investigations.
A. L. QUAINTANCE, in f 1,Ijqr if deciduous fruit insect inrcstigatiwis.
E. F. PHILLIPS, in charge of bee culture.
I). M. ROGERS, in bti en- of prcicnting spread of oths, hfiri ,rr"
ROLI.A P. CURRIE. in charge of editorial work.
MABEL COLCORD, in charge of library.


W. I). IIH'UNTER, ill charge.

1,1iii if in cotton-boll r'-< .il investigations.
A. (C. MORGAN, G. A. RUNNER, S. E. CRUMB, D. C. PARMAN. ir''i' ,I in t'Ihi,'o
insect ii rr(,'4i i9 li,,n.
V. C. BISHOPP, A. H. JLNNINGS, I. P. WOOl) W. V. KING. ,'"119111 ,1 in tick inrl'4,i-
T. E. IHOLLOWAY, IE RI. BARBER, eCi1!rifil in ,i.if-OIanc insect ini, 'i'alioin0.
J. L. W ERB. cnfg .0ri,1 in rice insect i,,111 tialili, .,
R. A. COOLEY, D. L. VAN DINE, A. F. ('umixi, C. C. KRUMBHAAR. ,-',l,'ibiraIors.


United States Department of Agriculture,

L. 0. HOWARD, Eninomolugisi and Chief of Bureau.

(Arytt + ininiitus Kovlh.)

By F. ii.r.
SI'iilt. ''r, i ,/, *i t l Anfiftun t.

A.m Iol the niany problem-s which confront the poultr- raiser in
tli' sotlwestern portion of the United Stales llon!e surplsJses in im-
port;' nc that of the fowl ort chicken tick (.1.,., n,,ifn Koch).
ri r statement has heen made liv reliable authorities that chicken rais-
hg in certain local it ies in southwestern Texas is practically prohibited
bI this pest. It is very common ito meet l)eolIe in many sections of
thie infested area who have disposetld of their poultry mainly tn ac-
count of the losses caused by this tick. The,.. occasioned to
thie mani who is ra i-ui, pii,,,lrv on a considerable -cah' is very small
when ,i',,p:ri,-ed with the losses sustained by the hundreds ,1" indi-
vidual,. in town and count ry whio keep a few f,,,,vls for home use.
Tlhi. is partly due to the lack oif attention \..I to their poultry ,1
th,',: who do not attempt to ,.1 into the industry commercially.
It is ,ifli,.ull to make a reliable estimate of the ,d. iit ii.i-,' ,.rn,.u!,'1,
to thio f, l tick. as much of the los. is indirect or ,.,iipli,.iled with
d.i.igt'e-, produced 1,\ other causes. There is no doubt. however, that
thit olo:;l loss due to the pest amounts to many thousands of dollars
.A tick which many autihorities, consider i.l iiI i,-;l with our A. iueri-
an fi~ni was Ibruvtl, 'h,.riI by Ok,.ir in 1- IS from specimens col-
hlctedi in Persia. In l-l l a (im, ii 1. 1 inv,..ui-r.lhr. l,',I,. Ih-.rilie'l
specimen,, fr'o,, Demerara. I'>ii -I, ( ;Uiana. "[i, laii,, were un-
i1tLe.tionaldly of the same -pecic- as thet i, I which occurs in the I nitee I
Siihnltri-d' by perwmsion as- a minnor thwis for the degre-v- ot Master of Science at the
Ct'lorodo Agriculturai Colleg.

1- 1. .1 M an h-I .,1 1!1,.


Stit *-. Our earliest record of the occurrence of the fowl tick in
this country was published in 1872 by Dr. A. S. Packard. This was
based upon a collection of ticks niidt by Mr. G. W. Belfrage in
southwestern Texas. Dr. L 0. Howard' states that Mr. F. G.
Schaupp sent specimens of this tick to the Bureau of Entomology
in November, 18,'4. At that time it was said to be a severe pest to
chickens in Dimmit County, Tex. Mr. Albert Turpe stated that
the tick appeared in Kiuiicy County. Tex., in l'.-'. but Mr. Ferdi-
nand Hoehr averred that it had been present in that coii.nty -iiice
1888. A.*,.ordling, to a statement of Prof. C. M. Weed ptubli.hed in
the Prairie Farmer. January 7, 1888, MI. George H. Trook sent in
specimens of this tick from M; County, Ariz., with the in-
formation that they were trroiil'lig chickens in that section. Dur-
ig. December, 1,!i, Mr. C. II. T. Townsend found the pest infesting
chickens at San Diego. Tex.. and earlier in the same year Mi'. E. M.
Ehrhorn reported it as attacking chickens and turkeys at Merced,
It has not been possible to secure reliable data on the early hi-torv
of the pest from residents in the infested territory. It seems prob-
able that it has existed in southwestern Texas for many year, and
was probably introduced from Mexico at the time of the colonization
of the State by the Spanish who came in from that country. Further-
more, it has not been firmly established whether the species ha:. been
spreading northward in Tex:i- -. although the belief that a gradual
spread has taken place has been expressed by Prof. E. D. Santder-on.
It is certain, however, that the tick is be,',inig more generally dis-
seminated throughout the infested territory along with the settling
up of the Southwest.

The chicken tick. blue bug." bloodsucker." or aimlpn."l. as it
is called in different localities or rriii,-. is a widely disseminated
species. In the United States it is infrequently met with out-ile of
the semiarid and arid Southwest. However, it has been reported a
number of times from Florida. and the Marx collection in the United
States National Mli-viiiiim contains. specimens from Iowa. The collec-
tion of the Bureau of Entomology contains specimens from a corre-
sp)ondent at Fort L:iiidrhdLjlh. Fla., where the tick was said to be
injurious, and Mi. G. A. Runner found the species in numinbers at
Key West, Fla. In this country, as has been indic.iateld. thi, tick
occurs in greatest abundance in the warm portions of the arid and
semiarid rgion,. A careful study of its normal distribution in Texas
shows that it does not extend far eastward into the rn-gin where the
annual rainfall exceeds :11) inches. This makes the eastern edge, of its
1 Insect Life, Div. l'ui., U. S. IDept. Agr., vol. 7, p. 418, 1895.

Till:E I'M I I ICK,

raiui* coincide closely with v line divi li,._. oe of our life zone-
knowni a- tlie LIower AuI.tral, into the ow I mr SoIora In nIdI Au t tr ori- Faunas.
Th11 map (tii. I) shows approximatelI tih, iurinial diIlrilution of
1i1 S|%Cies I, th nited i.i. es. It i- W Iri,+i.+ iec t 1ici ,,I-l,,,,Il the
Iret le" pJirt of western l')x sIitI ltt',i N1 w Mexic,, a n l A ;i... .
S0utlheri ainfI, wt'tcIrn ('alifornia, Il o, the ;I, ,t | I(Ihofa of nwo t Ii-
CellI r'at W[\i.., anil in other p1irt o11f 1lit I''III iV. In ima y ttl iIr
rIcrioll, of hit w'orhld tis I ick i of ilaorhiiic, a, 1 i III'I'1 ,of polIultrv.
It !pI,,.i I, to octcir o0ii ii ly in lAf l r-Ii, N, Il.,. sofuthAIrn Ruia,-ti

........*i . .

ill Wr ...
_."_- /_ -_._,_ ...." ',

"-l e "t I bt- i (1&-I

CZ ,stab l elve it I- f GII

occurrlel ..u. be cots ideredt"+ as te ra-11t1ri+y infetat +ion-s wr.i t
Unteutd Stni -++ + + rI~tn ii +
l I IA 1 .,. N~orthi and Soiith Africa. x ariou-. part-. of Aust-Iral ia. t he
West' Indies,-~ Mt'xaco. Ilaa:a,|al,:I, ln'i ish ( iii aaaa+a, awl Brazil.
"l~t,,,, api)ctarN to It' 1,0 ,lca+ , wh. lIVe tlt'ectit's rii,, 11111 l1U)1i.i
estadblithi1 in all of oaar (ll i Stf ates. as it ()CCct1' II olhla-'i retriestI'C
which have very -i,,il.1,r climaflte+,~ lit w tvvi- it w ill )i' F maly lneverCl
becolie a es of t', ltaiI~ous- inlaportallct' in the State-.. t'at o f "l'exa'
011 aIccounIt ,,f their humid cliiiatt'-. Tl,,... i' little,''i o+f th e
establishment ,, the species- in t he ,,mtr,' ,momi hara States'. and the
ca~s where it i.. occasionally fIr.,,.1 ,t|ilt~h+ +f t hr area 4, ajrrual
occurrence mnast he cons~id~em'd as~ teapo rary infes~tatium,,. ,li',,,,A I.


about by the introduction of the tick on fowls or in coops from in-
fested regions. If favorable conditions exist at the time of introduc-
tion the tick inmavy breed and become of some importance as a pest for
a short period, but sooner or later it is so checked as to be of little
consequence or it dies out compl)letely.

Although the chicken is the host most frequently attacked by this
species, a considerable number of other domestic fowls may be
troubled by it, and turkeys, geese, ducks, pigeon,. ostriches, and
canaries have each been found to stiffer from its attack. During this
investigation a few larvae of this species have been found in southern
Texas on the meadowlark (J. D. Mitchell) and on wild turkey (F. C.
Pratt). It has also been reported to have been collected, in rare
instances, on cattle and jack rabbits, and experimentally it has been
induced to feed upon rats and mice. In Persia this tick. which is
known as the "miana bug," has a formidable reputation. It is said
to attack man with avidity in that country, and early writers report
very serious effects produced by its bite. In some cases it was accused
of producing death within 20 hours. These statements are no doubt
overdrawn and other species of a closely allied genus (Ornithodoros)
may have been confused with this one. Prof. Lounsbury. in South
Africa, allowed specimens to feed upon his arm and experienced no
seriouss results. In this country we have had no authentic reports
of this pest attacking man.

As a result of the presence of this creature loss is sustained in
several ways: (1) Through death, which may occur among poultry
of all ages; (2) by the lowering of the vitality of the fowl so as to
make it readily susceptible to disease; (3) by greatly reducing egg
production; (4) by stunting the growth of chickens; and (5) by
disturbing setting hens.
Death may be produced in two ways. First, by gro.- infestation,
which drains the fowl of blood and produces intense irritation similar
to "tick worry," caused by the cattle tick and other species among
the larger domestic animals. This difficlty is most apparent when
chickens are placed in coops which have not been occupied for several
months. The ticks are extremely hungry, attack the fowls in great
numbers, and soon weaken them to such an extent that they are
unable to get on the roost. When the chickens are thus weakened
1hcy more readily fall victims to the ticks. In some cases the infested
fowls appear paralyzed. lIingr unable to use the legs. Thie wings
droop, the feathers have a ruffled appearance. the appetite is lost. and
the fowl may die as soon as two or three da.-v after the first attack.

S111. ] 'tp L I IC'K.

In Iv.-, severe iilft--iiiiions. wlN% tihe foN 1 are very hlearty. t hey may
droop for somie itiniw. or. if removed from fiiithtr iii, f -1:11 oll. quickly
Secondl. death ilmay be produced b)y a ,peuific disase w- ivh hias been
PprovenT to ki. carried )by the chicken tick. This l mtladv, whicth is
(nolwlin as spirtocheto'is-. has hein iroveln t) exist ill il1laly conillitries
where the thicikei tick occurs. namely, in Il,.. Il-vptian ,i'Lii,.
Tran-c iiiiauc-na. o mani ,. Tunis. A\l.r'i.i. lI11',,,h-in. South \ n-t r.,i:i.
Brazil, anti Mirtiinique. It is also p)rolialc that thie disease occurs
in either islands of the West Indies. A disea-ase with many of the
,ynilittom.- (f spirihietosis (wertiii :iiI' Lr clihickens in thle -southwestern
])rt. of the United ,. and in M,.Xic'. The fowml tick has Iemci
found a.-oriiat'dI with this disease. These points -iri'-ly indicate
that the iiimal:id\ in question is thle tick-tranismitted spiirocheto-is
known in lhtnr countries, al though thli- remains to li, definitely
It is readily seen how the wv 1,:iiifi riL- effect of the blood loss In ri-
ducedI by this species nmay en,.)uiir;iL''_ the development of various dit-
eases. It has been shown 1)by certain authorities, that. in fW"i ne'. this
tick introduces a substance cdh.,1 :niiit,-,,.,i:ulin into the woumndl
produced by the insertion of the mouth parts. This substance and
po',sibly other secretions seem to produce acute itiil:iiii:ilion at tlhe
point of attack. and, 'when the infestation i heavy '1, innflamination
as well as the loss of blood is an important f:i(tor in r,'1,t.itl, 1'._.i
The continued drain upon the svstenims of chickenk- from the time
they are hatched until full i.r,'"ii is -iifl' ini to ac-count for the re-
duction in the size of poultry raised in tick-in f,.-I., houses.
The irritation plrodwued 1i10l1 -,t i iL' hlens by the attack of the tick
in its different -t ,-1 freI'qjIuelitl interferes with successful hat'*il;,r.
in some instances eten ,a,-im",g the liens to desert their nests.

The habits -of the f,,wl tick are very similar to tli,-- of the led-
ulg (( ;,'f ,* f. ,,ldarh L.). It is almos-t exclusively a 1i.i_'lit feeder.
Beemai-e of this habit of enL'i_,"_ii L on fowls .1,ii.Lr tle night ald'
hidling in the daytime many people (do not '-uspect time presence If
the tick until serious loss has been -'i-iliind.
Thle lif lhi-Ilry of this species' is considerallv dliff, I,-l fci that
of the ticks ordinarily observed on the firm. Tlie ,'..' are small.
oval. lroivii-li oj 'et -. and are deposited in the cracks anid crevices
about thile r1'-tiiiL' pl:ir- of the f,," I-. DLirii,' warm weather they
!latchi in fri'iii 10 to 1." days. In ti,' winter the hatcl,'i, p,'ri,,ii may
ecvt'el three months. 1 lii mIinute -ixli ,L'-'11 e( d ticks or Iarm';
whichi neerge from the ,'-'- are very ,Vfft i i iin ap)peara ice from


the full-grown ticks. A tick in this stage as seen from beneath,
is shown in figure 2. The s-eed ticks are light gray in color and the
mouth parts can be seen projecting in front of the body. Follow-
ing hatching they remain quiet on the eggs for a few days and then,
after nightfall, begin actively running
about in search of a host. When a suit-
'"able host is found they b)ur tlie rather
\ l 4 1'1g beak in the skin and begin sucking
':),),p4'J f blood. Their favorite places of attach-
; .' l,,,g eak n t easi and beg',in suknd

< "J'. /' ment are on the breast and tligh- and
A :" under the wing.l. but thiv may be found
Son nearly all parts of the fowl. After
r ~'" fe- dling has hegiaii they soon become
( .) dark blue in color andi the body gradu-
: aally becomes distended andi rounded.
,?\ / ', T1liv fully ('ii,,r'2',l seed ticks are about
one-tenth of an inch in length and are
FiG. 2.-A seed tick. the larva of usually of a dark-blue or purplish color.
the fowl tick, as seen from be- Wihe.n fully enri,,rgil thle -'ced ticks
neath. Greatlyenlarged. (Orig- drop fronl the host. These ticks have
acquired the habit of drI)ping from the
host during the night. It is thus possible for them to find hiding
places in the immediate vicinity of the chicken roost. The time
required for the seed ticks to cignrl. has been found to range from
31 to 10 days.
In fronl 4 to 9 dax-4 after
dropping from the lost the
tig,,e,1 seed ticks miolt
their skins andd acquire a
fourth pair of Itg:. In cool
weather this transfornuati ol
soTeti mnes requires slight p
over a monthly. In this -ca ie
the ticks are known as
nymiphis (ti.r. 3). They are
Si i... li,, y i:,r,"er than the en-
g',,r-,'.l CCeed ticks but are
very much flatter. In this
and all subsequent -t agv., the
ticks feed almost exclusively Fi,.. 3.-Nymph of the fowl tick. as seen from
below. Greatly vnilarg d. (Original. I
at niilit and do not require
more than from a few minutes to an hour to become filled with blood.
This enables them to partake of their meal and thoroughly secrete
themselves in the cracks during the night and thus escape ,le-trict ion
by the host. Before becoining mature the iiuwph-, feed and molt

their skins twice and sometinel three tinsl. IIhi ri'i t Ii<'-< sUcrt,1.
s lv r ,n i ,,r '.. i, n, ,, a m id Im o ii,,u ith e t i 'k i ni size t lhut maintain the .,l. iiitched -v
formi. r a
At thn* l:,.i im-lt the sv';aur ,,i ... nis at,' dtvchl()|M'. I lI,, imahs ( it._,. -I ;tire, 'A\y it-F S
slightly sInv hin Tr thali thc fchn i ,lc i"i, ..,
fiftl, of an inch iaind h lAitter al,'ut
one-fourth of an itlh in h.ih

ve'', i-l l' I n" IM color :In i t v I i \
thin. A after |), fii 1' l ood tilI'y I *
clihnigv t I ilark bliu ainit tho i si in- Z4 1 1 T-j
cases con-liderably livl dxie, of rp' ..- Ws1
Ihe li:l'- nol t diste d u1 s no ilci :s . ila
1I1i-1 of the feitliah'l In tmi dilt I,;'eadlit'
- a also i:n l-i ii hal 1.i'.', 1 1
t I m outh 11101s iilI lo)it,' on lt I+ ; M I I l' I O .i. til t,
uuiih i i' of the vli Ih f te 'd ; n- IIt i< te
l,,, \'I. "lIt.\ a lrt not II iily visiil ,,t, +, ,. ,i,,. +,,> t
fro'ii abIove. The Ibody is iuite hn- ati 1t1 hi ,'uir>i
p'V and exliilisiits ;i hhihir !p|)W isit n+t v withli r linii,'i ," i \ow' f rither
inOutii. irrl'- iil iir disk-. .1.iii,,. lakes &l4iiv tiiii ci in iaitelv aift" r en-

i.I:',k:j OF .i-

F|,- 5---Female of the fowl tick. a: I n from f bo .i.nd l, ni ith. INot tI.- trrm<
verse genital op<>nlng jus-t l,-htJnd tlw mnuutlhip rts i nit 1 rgt'd. d -,,. ,, +
gorgt'eni'iit. and the f',ii:tles t.,'iii to deposit ,-'- in from 4 to l1 later. Ofieli diiring the winter tilthe fenmal's do not deposit for !sig



periods and sometimes require a second engorgeinent before egg
laying l)egins.
I'nlikc ninny species of ticks, the female does not die upon com-
pletion of the first depo.-'ition. but again fills with blood and produces
another batch of egg-;. This process of feeding followed by deposi-
tion may take place as many as seven timeN, the average number
bei ng about three or four. The largest number of eggs which we have
observed to be deposited by a single female is 874 and the average
number 537. It will thus be seen that although deposition takes
place a number of times, the total number of eggs produced is con-
siderably smaller than the number deposited by many of our common
species of ticks. For exanmplle. the average number of eggs deposited
by the cattle tick is between 3,000 and 4.000. As has been stated, the
eggs are to be found in small clusters associated with all stages of
the tick in the cracks and crevices about tlhe chicken house.
One of the most remarkable features of the life histoi, of this
creature is its great length of life without food. The seed ticks have
been found to live for a period of 5j months. Ticks in the first
nymphal itagr may live for slightly more than 9 month-, those in the
second nymphal stage for about 15 months, and those in the adult
stage for nearly 21 years. In each of these cases the specimens ob-
served were kept in tight boxes and no food was given. Other ob-
servers have recorded still greater longevity among adults of this
species. Some of them state that the tick may live over 3 years with-
out food. Dr. C. V. Riley has published a statement to the effect that
tliev have been observed to live some 5 years without food. Our
observation upon hundreds of individuals indicate that there must
be some mistake about this record.


The eggs of this tick hatch into larvae in from 10 to 100 days. The
seed ticks, or larva', attach to a fowl and feed from 31 to 10 days,
after which they drop from the host, mainly at night, and secrete
themselves in protected places. Dinuring warm weather the skins of
the seed ticks are inolted in from 4 to 7 days and the eight-legged
nymphs appear. The second engorgemient. which always occurs at
night, requires only a few hours at ino-f. after which the ticks again
secrete themselves and molt their skins. The third engorgement
also occurs at night, as do all subsequent feedings. Following this
eii!4,rgrinmilt the ticks require 11 or more days in which to shed
their skins. About six-sevenths of the resulting ticks are now
mature. These are ready for dlcim-iling evgs after another engorge-
meint and mating. The other one-seventh of the individuals are
still nymphs after the third molt and must of necessity feed once


more and molt their skins ,..ii i, fIre I,. ,i,,,iii adults. "1 I 1 l;-t
iiyiii)lil ,zlimi ill tiin caN le has lee1n f'niiil to require * or more days.
TIli1 1iillt- arie read V f'.- iemlnt soon ;a afte r tliT lal t mult. and
delit-iitn111, l'^ini-. .iftal" w.ntitjL'._L ha takeni pla.ce. A\s many as se ven
Vn' ii I'nor 'IIiiit-, and deposit ions hav II en ". l-I I',I. a. n al i.n .,i t ., ;7
egg. Ili la deix-ited It' elch fcniah tick.
The'li niumler of general ion- a f tlihr -Ii i'kn titk annually hhan not
bet-en dhtli 1 riizi It i- posI-ible for Ithe i tic'k to deelop tlir,'ii ,i all
of its -tag,- and thus conliete it- lif& cMvcl in about I days. Nor-
nmllny. however, it probably takc- at least two months, in warm
Wetll ther. fr thl complete trans-formation. A lI I'I' 1-I IrI,. lini .' con-
tinues tliirioagh the w inter it in i.'iI' ilvr retarded ,liii'i the coole-st
weather. It in estinmtiI that about fi'(ve ,'i, lionss oaccr annually
in the southern part of the raii<',, of the tick.


A'. has been Jpinit., out. ti ticn k dAls nol thrive in )ortions of the
Soiuthern Statc, whiich have a humiid climate. This fact. to(getlIer
with experimental eviwh.Ir,. iiilicate- that thIle e-p'ies" is 1.iii.!aly coln-
trolled hIv excessive moisture. It ha-s al-.o heern found that the in-
julry infli'i'I liv the species is i gi'ites-t ,1"i il, liot. ldry seasons. It
also appear- that low tenpl)eratures- ;re iipii'itallnt in rlli.. the
rapidity of multiplication and other activities, and that where ,i.vI
cold winters occur the tick ldoes not exis-t.
Thie species is -intgul:lv free, from natural enemies. The little
black ant (Mon/mo1tm 01 /n 1 ft n) l-s been sien e carry\ii_- ,,t1 tihe
eggs and larva'. and sonie ,f the hlonse-inhaliti,, -jiid.'rs pirol'al)ly
destroy limited numbers of thie tilk in tie later st.i-1,' Rat- and
mice are also concerned in its dc-truction in these i.,.r-. ('hickeni
eat the tick with avidity when they have aW'a'es to it. however it
is grenitly protected by its habit" of ni.-ht f.lii,-" and of crawliiL.
deeply into cracks during' the day. The-e habit- also make it ir:i,-
iically exellpt from destruction hy inl-ectivorous birds.


It is mucli easier to exclude the fowl tick firon preinises which are
not already infested than to eradicate it af ir ain infes-tation, ha- I,-
conme established. Hience it is advi-alhe, when poultry r'ai-il.'L' is
being started, to choose a site some distance fromN whIere chickens'lt
have roo-ted. If it is po"sile to have thIe entire poultry '.irui well
separated front other farms the ecWlusion of the ticrk i- made more
certain. No chickens., or I'1p- which 11ive c Itained hic ken-,
th-iild be brought near the site of the new yard-. This demands


the use of the incubator for starting and replenishing the flock.
When the chicken yards are built in proximity to infested premises
extreme care should be exercised by the poultrynman to exclude his
fowls from these lrmni-.e-. as well as to prevent foreign poultry
from entering the tick-free yards. Frequent and careful inspections
should also be made of chicken houses to be certain that an infesta-
tion has not occurred frnuin ilngualdel sources. If it is desired to
bring stock in. this should be kept quarantined at some distance from
the chicken yards for 10 days. The temporary coops in which the
poultry is kept duiiriiig this period should then I'c burned or dipped
in 1,,iling water to insure the destruction of all ticks. As has been
stated under the discussion of the life lhi-tory of this species, the
seed ticks may remain attached to the host for a period of 10 days,
hence the recommendation that fowls be quarantined for that period.
At the expiration of the 10 days all of the ticks will have dropped
and hidden themselves in the cracks of the coop. They may then be
destroy yed by the methods mentioned. When poultry is to be moved
from an old chicken house into a new one the same method of free-
ing them from ticks should be employed.
It is of much importance to determine as early as possible whether
or not the fowl tick is present in the chicken house. Oftentimes the
small blue seed ticks are observed upon the skin of poultry which is
dressed for consumption. The presence of these little parasites
should always cause the owner to turn his attention to the chicken
coops. Whenever the combs and gills of chickens appear pale or
signs of weakness are exhibited the cause can (often be ascertained by
niuaking an examination of the mri-tinig places. Freq uently severe
losses are sustained without the presence of the pest beiomining known
to the poultryman. It is therefore necessary to make frequent care-
ful examinations of the cracks in the vicinity of the roosts to deter-
mine if an infestation exists. When ticks are found it is important
to determine how extensive is the infestation a nl where the majority
of the ticks are. If many specimens are found in all pjrts of tilhe
building and if the structure is of little value. the easiest and surest
way of destroyirng the pest is to burn the entire chicken house. If,
however, the ticks are not to be found in all parts of the building and
if it is of too much value to be destroyed, other methods of fighting
the tick should be adopted. In the first place all unnecessary boards
and boxes which form protection for the tick should be removed.
The house should then be thoroughly sprayed with pure kerosene,
crude petroleum (Beaumont oil), creouote. or some of the standard
tick dips used at a -I rength of 1 part of the dip to 3 parts of water.
A thoroughly spraying with whitewash containing carbolic acid has

'1 I I I to I I It K .

all'o ten recommeniiided. Many other lds1tructive .iii- ha:\e hsiwn
,.iii hli 1 l with ii ir r leo ss sIiccc -: I Iii iii:" thI Ie I are boili ):' w atI ,.
crt.,-.,Ic, products. andl i.,ii.-. kc+roMc'e ennili-hi TIr. application
of hot tar to the interior of i i fc,-.el hlouiM' ha- 1 1 i, som.e rlief from
l hI pest in certain ilI tIAces. Thc a r tends to It ll up the crack' and
to seal I'i the ticks already in them.
W'i' chIickens are tiiijl, to he snil ii I ,: fromIh the attack of Ithe
tick til- should h reinmo\ed immni diiiatelv from (lhe hlou-e iln wvliic,
the ticks occur. It is posilih to -iroy aiitAnr of tile larvna which
ar ;tet: l ,a i d to tilte ird, but a- a rule i + i ili.;i nill to shut tile
ait ftecI, I chicken i|) aAtid Allow tle larva' to illAoinl r,,I ..._' '' anid dr.,p
off. In cas c clic i ens i become v\ ery wealk t l,' I attack before tlhe
trmiilile is l.':i<'I it is advisaible to ajpl)l kerosene allnd lard to tlihe
underside of tlie ii i- and I breast- in orn er ,l, d Istr in s-o"me o-f tIhe
liir,\ already attached. I',: icamllyv all of tlt s4eel tick- (on tIhe
chikilL- Imay I dvh estr 'i by ,il'i,, 2 i iuc1 themi il one of tlie creosote
dil,-, mixed with water in the proportion of 1 to 10. ]'l,'iiii,- in-
ft'.*ted fowls into ',.,-,,lill,' ,has been found to ,I-Iroy every tick
attached to them, but this treatment is too harsh ohn the ho-st to be
r'coniiiik iiekl. Ifn I wil .il. pl );I! o If the birds- i i uadvI -. l.I,. as
thlt treatment is rather severe. aid usmuallv if the claiikets are kept
from t'irilier infestations they soon recover from thlie attack.
The chicken tick has been found to [It one of the mst litlilrjil
form of animal life to de-stroy It is ;11le to isur ilie applications
which would kill practically any form of insect I '.. Insect powder.
kerosene emulsions ..iiI creoote dips used at the orldilnary -r iiirtli
and fui,,a;tini with I such IOiIious '-tttances as h drocyanic-a idl
ga, are entirely inadequaIte to de'-stroy tlie ] .. ( )n account of the
ability of thIe tick- to crawl far into Vcry narrow c-racks it i prac-
ticallv impossilm e to strike all of them witli ainy s-ii-t aice alppll, I
This tie,-e-itAtes the Irepetition of tlie treatment at intervals of a
week or 10 daysv, until the tick is rought wiell under coit rol.
Niiieri11- .i \ \icc have been t-used or advocated for protecti-
chickens from tick attack. A\ -i L'" thle contrivances for isolatii,. lihe
roAts Imay be mentioned w raploii-1 thle ends -f the poles in waste or
cotton soaked in petroleum and suplporJii,_1 tie roo-,ts Iy mean- -f
rods rIii"., cnip- fi I' 14 wili kerosenle or other deterrent
material. If tIlen' mnetlihods are r I,'I I'. ', for 1prote'Ic, the llo, drv
are should be taken to keep the repellent sIui staices fre-lih and not to
Jllowv thle du.-t to accumulate n thle top. In any event tlie roos-ts
,houlhl be smooth and free from bark and cracks so a- not to furnish
hiding places for the ticks. They vho tdd l o alo e :ii .,in.ed so as to be
easily removed to permit fI *.]. iilaL-the hloftI e .,iI I ap I'lyii.. 1i'1 rolenm
or creosote around the niii- of the rosts- and other places ]lri the
tick,, are most ipl to hide. Ga-line torches have been used in lv-


stroking ticks with some success. This method is very effective in
eradicating the pest from noninflammable buildings such as are dis-
cused utinder tick-proof houses." A very simple and incxpensie
vnithod of prite ting fowls from the tick is to suspend the roosts by
means of small wires from the /;l,/. Wires should also be run
firmI the roost to the side of the bidbi:ng in order to prevent the
framework from town, lu,;t' at any point. Thi.i arrangement in vari-
ous forms is being used by a few chicken raisers in many localities,
and in most cases with marked success. The method is inexpensive,
can be adapted to any kind of chicken hmi e. and requires only suiffi-
cient attention to make certain that the roosts and roost frames
themselves do not become infested.
As has been -tated. the longevity of thib species is so great that
this method alone can not be relied upon to kill out the ticks already
in the building, as a few of them are certain to become engorged
on ett ing or laying hn.-. or on chickens which remain on the ground.
and thus keep the infestation alive. In view of these facts it is
recommended that along with the suspension of the perches on wires,
spraying or mopping with petroleum or creosote be practiced.
For the most part conditions throughout southwestern Texas and
other parts of the infested territory are favorable for the breeding
of this pest. Cedar posts which are covered with bark and filled
with deep crevices are extensively used in and about the chicken
houses. In some cases the chickens are compelled to roost in trees
and about barns owing to the erroneous idea that by this method they
will escape the chicken ticks which are usually concentrated in the
chicken houses. This practice ,iily serves to scatter the ticks about
the premises and often induces infestations of the barn-. trees, and
fences. This makes it possible for the ticks to get on the chickens in
any place about the yards and practically prevents ;nce,,fnil control.
Where poultry commonly roost in trees it is a good policy to remove
all of the loose bark from the trees used as roosting places and to fill
all holes and crotches in them with tar.
The whitewauhing of luilding- and general cleanliness maintained
in order to keep the chicken tick in check are of much advantage in
warding off some of the diseases to which poultry is subject. Many
of the control methods advocated are of decided importance in conm-
bating other poultry pests. Applications of tickicidle, to chicken
houses are sure to destroy the (chicken mite (Dt'inant/.ss r/allinme
Redi), which has a habit, very similar to that of the chicken tick. of
liiding in the cracks. These applivations also aid in out rolling the
chicken flea (Sarcop.1i/ll 1 ,iiv'/1 ,, Westw.), which is of consider-
able importance in certain sections of this country.

Till l- IM L TICK.

TiBloK'li1)f 11W HOt'I.
lhei ii iW s plaited to constlict eii tis w" Ii ir poui r" ltry hie a1 iit ter
of protection fIi ri i1 is 1pes.t .hoihl Ihe kept in 11nil. I is piosiI dle to
build chicken lhoue l' whi'h lare pract ic:ill tick piroof: moreover, tihe
cost of liduil lil,- and 4ii1iinta iiiIi-L' s1icl4 str1rtilire ,' il. ot gr .';illv
txeeed I ie outl hIy n11Neces'sarty I. coit ri[ct a liois 1, wh ich i ,Ioxid f.ivor
tick developmIent.
I imie- can We Iluilt of :i variety of ditfererilt iallteriall so a to
make it very esy to control this pest. If it ieems dtesirablle to buill
a frame structure .AlI parts shoihl Ilie niadte otf sId otii llnluber : iiid care
should be taken to fiiriiili the llea,-t possible niliuber of iii.ii: plIace
for the ticks. Shini,_he roofs \\ hell oncei infl'-l ild ace ex'',diily lifdi-
nicult to rid of ticks. It is therefore advisable to iaike the 'iiof of cor-
riigatr'd iron, tin, or one of the patent riliiji'-.
The all-mnetal chicken house ihas many adv over w,,,ihn or
partiaIlly wooden stiructres. A niniuher of such liolisc, built illmainly
oif netal are in wse in southw"lm ert l Texas and hiave tbeen found prac-
ticillyv tick free.. illn,]ilgh no precautions wcre tiken .igli.ii~ intro-
i rcing ticks with the pi,,ill r\ l'or rf tieval il lie, inside of lie houses.
In ciE- i-.iii i a lpoultry hollse twhe individual needs hir, Ly 'V-
ern ili .lyl,' ;110 size: of the strrctuire. Thie co-st of niaiterials required
for an ill-iicital holwse 14 feet l'ii,_. 10 f',ri wide. hand 7 feet li..I in
frilii. 1w i ili a roof -IT-.iiii one w\\ a, lia- beenl found to ariionlit to about
"2.7. Tlic igiii- iare based Ion the Ise i three-fourths inch pilingi
for tile framework :i, painted ,- iiii-tle ironl fortl-Ihccovi ril--. The
dii'heiirc, iln jri '. of painted anid al\ nilized iron is ,i-i o hn:ilrilv. tlie
forller I t'in., aboullt 2. Ip ,r sqpiire aid thlie latter albOirt 4..4(). The
paintiul iron w ill IW' foinil satisfactorv for ile at inlind points. Its
life I:jiY I inIIcreased l 't P i)iYi ar1 oAc Iisional I coat of paint. In thle
construction of thIe frlaine it is niecessar" to haive the pil iiiL: cut to)
tlhe' required I i-nl I li aInd threaded. The i 1ar'.' nuilbi of sAort piece-
of pipliin'; and lihe considerab:1e number of cross, nill,",-. and T's
liilake the :4- .ir l.lii.i_ ,f the frame riiathel r ,I 1 iii W hliere iron
is available it is more n l-iI rable a:nd costs no more. '*I,,. i I,.-,,
iron may then I e riveted oni or .tIvfIt! on as would Ibe done if thlie
pipii_, fraric' were llsed. Wooden frames inay be cnipl,, it' i' lhe
metal is too expensive or lif,.,ill to obtain. Wlii, wooden frames
are used it is It'st to pitii the framework on thle outside of lie -li ci-
inc. 'Il lel- co1rri-.11:.l I iron houIses are veI'v hot ,liiiii,_' the ,.iyV aInd
1heref'r. 11 shade, otiIher than that afforded by thie hloisets, should lew
pr,,iih', in the chicken yards. TI'l- ext rellie hieat iiil] Ile lack of
protole-tionI are the esent ial If 1i r, in kI.i -ii In' the chicken tick out.
The tick will never become i serious nlis iance in a ill ,-metal ouse
if protection, such as loose boards,., ne-l. etc.. is not given it. Netver-


14 THE FOWL T 3 1262 09216 5538

theless it is advisable to avoid introducing the pest, if possible. The
complete destruction of the tick, should it become established in a
metal house, is easily accomplished by removing the roost and burn-
ing a considerable quantity of straw, paper, or other light material
within the house. All parts of the house should be thoroughly heated
or reached by the flame. As has been stated the roost, should always
be airliii wd to permit of easy removal for cleaning and other pur-
It is recommended that nests be located apart from roosting places.
Tick-proof nests or boxes isolated by means of legs set in dishes filled
with kerosene are desirable. If, however, the ne-ts are made of
ordinary boxes and not allowed to come in contact wit], any walls it is
seldom that thl-v will become infested to any degree if thoroughly
cleaned out occasionally. Should these boxes become infested they
can be destroyed with little loss. Metal nests mnay be made with a
ri ii, of small iron to which is attached a sort of basket made of wire
netting. These nests may be tlhoriiougily cleaned by burning the
straw which they contain and holding the wire part over the blaze.
In the infested territory brooders and pens should lie selected or con-
structed with a view to 1L-seling sliding places which may be occupied
bv this pest.
That the fowl tick can be kept completely out of a poultry farm
has been demonstrated conclusively by a few progre-sive poultry men
in Texas, but this is the reward of scrupulous cleanliness and con-
stant vigilance.
Secretary ,f A -';, ,1ire.
VAsIING rTON, D. C., January 18, 1913.

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