A new remedy for the control of the Gulf Coast tick


Material Information

A new remedy for the control of the Gulf Coast tick
Physical Description:
3 p. : ; 27 cm.
Rude, C. S ( Clifford Symes ), b. 1894
United States -- Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Administration, Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Ticks -- Control -- Gulf Coast (U.S.)   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Additional Physical Form:
Also available in electronic format.
Statement of Responsibility:
by C.S. Rude.
General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:
General Note:
"May 1946."

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 030291576
oclc - 779966640
System ID:

Full Text

STATE J,.A'{ -.

May 1946 E-686

United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Administration
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine


By C.S. Rude, Division of Insects Affecting Man and Animals

The Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maoulatum Koch) is a. serious enemy
of livestock in the region bordering the Gulf of Mexico. In general it
does not become sufficiently abundant to be of economic importance more
than 100 miles inland. Specimens have been examined from all the Gulf
Coast States, from Georgia and South Carolina, and from Mexico. The
tick has also been reported from Central and South America.

It is a three-host tick,l/ the immature stages being found on
birds and small mammals. The adults attack cattle, horses, sheep,
goats, hogs, deer, and man. They generally attach to the outer ear
of the host near the tip. Sometimes they attach to the eyelids or
around the base of the horns. They are frequently found under the
back of the hump on Brahma bulls. On horses they often attack in the
mane or foretop, where they produce troublesome sores.

Nature of Injury

When the ticks attach t4 the ear, they cause the ear to swell and
exude a yellowish serum, which dries and forms a hard scab or crust.
This scab may be as much as one-quarter inch thick and the ticks will
be almost totally encased in it. In severe cases the ears become
greatly swollen and crack open. These oases usually result in per-
manent malformation.

By far the greatest loss, however, is from tick injury causing
the animals to be susceptible to attack by screwworms. In some seasons
fully 80 percent of the sorewworm cases, in areas where this tick is
abundant, are the direct result of tick injury. Many animals die as
the result of these attacks, but even greater loss is caused by the
decrease in weight and impaired condition of the livestock, and by
the expenditure of time required to look after and treat the injured
animals. In Texas the period of severe tick injury usually starts in
July and continues until about the middle of October.

Pasture Mowing and Tick Control

Among some ranchmen in the coastal area there is a belief that
systematic mowing of pastures to prevent rank growth of weeds and

_/ Hixson, H. Field biology and environmental relationships of the
Gulf Coast tick in southern Georgia. Jour. Econ. Ent. 53: 179-189. 1940.


coarse grass aids in the control of the Gulf Coast tick. No detailed
studies have been conducted along this line, but observations were made
that tend to bear out this belief. During the period 1942 to 1945
several pastures were observed in which a systematic program of mowing
was carried out. The tick populations in these pastures were consis-
tently low while in adjoining unmowed pastures the ticks were abundant.
A typical example is the observation in 1944 of two pastures which were
similar in every respect except that one had been mowed regularly for
several years. On August 8 the cattle in the mowed pasture had an
average of 0.47 tick per ear as compared with 4.5 per ear in the unmowed
pasture. On September 20 the cattle in the mowed pasture had an average
of 0.17 tick per ear in contrast to 5.1 ticks per ear in the unmowed
pasture. Although such limited observations are not conclusive, they
do indiLate that systematic mowing of pastures may play an important
role in the control of the Gulf Coast tick.

Treatment for Ears of Cattle and Sheep

Experiments were conducted from 1942 to 1945 for the purpose of
developing a remedy that would kill the Gulf Coast tick on cattle and
give a satisfactory period of protection from reinfestation. This work
was made possible by the cooperation of a group of ranohmen in Jackson,
Calhoun, and Latagorda Counties in Texas. These men furnished their
herds and ranch facilities for the tests.

A large number of animals were treated and a number of chemicals
were tested, A mixture containing DDT in a nondrying adhesive 7ave
the best results. Preliminary tests showed that a mixture containing
2 percent of DDT was not so effective as one in which the DDT content
was 5 percent. Several adhesives were tested in the search for one
possessing the desired properties. The remedy which was finally
developt-., and which gave consistently good results in extensive tests,
has been designated as stock 1037.

This remedy has not been tested throughout the entire area in the
United States which is infested with the Gulf Coast tick. Experiments
conducted in Texas indicate that it can be used successfully in that
region, 2he preparation is not recommended for application to any
animals except cattle and sheep,

Composition and Method of Preparing Stock 1037.--This preparation
contains 5 percent of technical DDT, 47 percent of rosin, 33 percent of
Hercolyn (hyd'rogenated methyl abietate), and 15 percent of dibutyl
phthalate. All measurements are made by weight.


To prepare this stock, place the DDT and dibutyl phthalate to-
gether and stir or shake until the LDT is in solution. Place the
rosin and Heroolyn in another container and heat slowly until the
rosin is completely liquefied. During the heating the mixture should
be stirred frequently to prevent scorching. After the rosin is
liquefied, remove the heat and allow the mixture to cool. When the
temperature is down to 125F. or less, add the dibutyl phthalate and
DDT and stir until uniformly mixed. As soon as the mixture is cold,
it is ready to use.

Method of Using Stock 1037 on Cattle and Sheep.--From experiments
conducted it appears that, when properly applied, stock 1037 will kill
the Gulf Coast tick and prevent reinfestation for 3 to 6 weeks. For
best results the mixture should be applied to the ears of cattle or
sheep as soon as ticks begin to be numerous. A second application
should be made when ticks again begin to attach to the aniz-.als. his
will usually be in 3 to 6 weeks after the first treatment.

The preparation should be applied liberally to both the inside
and outside of the outer ear and around the base of the horns. It is
best applied with the bare hands and should be well rubbed into the
hair and skin.

The material is not injurious to the hands and can be reraoved
readily with benzene, white gasoline, or kerosene. The hands should
then be washed immediately with soap and water.

One gallon of stock will treat 125 to 150 head of cattle.

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