Florida Agricullural Experiment S1taion.
A DIP OR SPRAY FOR CATTLE.
BY JOHN M. SCOTT.
Perhaps in no section of Florida are the cattle free from animal parasites.
Every farmer, whether he owns one animal or one hundred, ought to be inter-
ested enough to protect his animals from the injurious effects of these para-
sites. We have been using at the Experiment Station for the past year a dip
which has proved quite satisfactory. The formula was prescribed by Dr. Nel-
son S. Mayo, and is as follows:
White arsenic........................................ Two-fifths pound.
Sodium carbonate (crystals)................... One and one-eighth pound.
Yellow soap................................... ............ One and one-eighth pound.
Pine tar....................................... One. Oi 4 pint. '
Dissolve the arsenic by boiling it for half an hour in one gallon of water. Add
the dissolved arsenic to five gallons of water. Shave the soap, mix it with
the soda, and dissolve the mixture in one gallon of water. When dissolved
pour in the tar, pouring in slowly in a fine stream, and stirring meanwhile so
as to get it into solution. Then mix it with the arsenic solution, and add wa-
ter to make twenty-five gallons in all.
This is to be used as a dip, spray, or wash. It loses but little by age.
The solution not only kills the ticks, but also kills all other animal parasites
with which it comes in contact. It may be applied either with a brush or a
sprayer, or it may be put in a dipping-tank through which the animal is passed.
INJURY BY TICKS.
One of the worst parasites with which we have to deal is the cattle tick,
which causes Texas or splenic fever. The loss among native stock from this
disease is quite heavy; but perhaps most of the loss is caused not by the fever,
but by the heavy drain upon the animal's system from the large quantity of
blood taken by the ticks. One tick consumes only a small quantity; but the
continued feeding of several thousand ticks upon one animal soon exhausts its
constitution and vitality. This is especially true of young animals, such as
calves from six weeks to one year old-a period when they ought to be making
their best development and growth. If at this time they are feeding several
thousand ticks, instead of growing and developing as they should they will ac-
tually become smaller. The young animal once stunted in growth will never
develop as it would have done, if it had received proper care and treatment
from the first. Besides suffering this loss of blood, tick-infested cattle suffer
continuously from irritation and injury of the skin. The tick when attaching
Juily 18, 1908.
PRESS BULLETIN No.- 94.
itself to the animal's body punctures the skin. The puncture is soon sur-
rounded by an area of intense inflammation, which results in the formation of
readily visible scabs.
LOSS OF MILK.
The injury to the live-stock owner by the ticks is not confined to the loss
of blood, and the irritation of the skin caused to his cattle. It has been esti-
mated that the loss to the dairyman caused by the cows being heavily infested
with ticks is equal to one quart of milk a day for each cow. This loss amounts
in a year to no less than 275-300 quarts (70 to 75 gallons) of milk for each
cow. This means a yearly loss of $20-$25.
Much the same is true of cows on the range when nursing calves. The
cow has to feed the ticks. Hence, if the ticks abstract the equivalent of one
quart of milk a day from dairy cattle, doubtless they reduce in some similar
proportion the milk yield of the range cow, whose calf must lose that amount,
and the calf likewise suffers a corresponding drain from its own ticks. How
then can we expect our cattle raised in tick-infested sections to develop as
they ought to develop?
ERADICATION OF TICKS.
Of course the best solution of the problem is the eradication of the ticks,
and this could be accomplished if every live-stock owner would co-operate
with other live-stock men. It would of course follow that cattle from other
tick-infested states would not be allowed to be shipped into Florida. It seems,
however, at present that Florida may be the last state in the Union to thor-
oughly eradicate this pest.
SPRAYING AND DIPPING.
Perhaps the next best method will be for each farmer to keep the ticks
under control by constant spraying or dipping. There are a number of pro-
prietary dips upon the market which are very good when properly applied;
but the greatest drawback to the proprietary dips is their expense. Most of
these preparations cost from $1-$1.50 a gallon, and one gallon makes about
twenty gallons of dip; so that the dip costs from five to eight cents a gallon.
This is a considerable expense. There are, however, several good dips (one of
which is given above), which the farmer himself can prepare at a much less
State papers please copy.