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THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Developed in ; -bIimthWlAe
ViAgin l stand& Trpt. eanfl- Guttute
COMMERCIAL PESTICIDES APPLICATOR MANUAL:
This manual was adapted for Virgin Islands needs from materials
furnished by the Training Branch, Operations Division, Office of
Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,
D.C. It supplements the EPA/USDA publication: "APPLY PESTICIDES
CORRECTLY -- A GUIDE FOR COMMERCIAL APPLICATORS." That publication
should be read first.
The information herein provides a base to use in preparing for
the certification examination in the category of AGRICULTURE: ANIMAL
ReeArence to commeAtcat products ot trade names is made wAith the
understanding no discrimination is intended and no endorement is emptied
by the Cottege oj the VJigin Island6 Cooperative Extension Service.
W Ittiam D. Fitz wateA
Pesticides Training Officer, CVI Extension Service
David F. WiJLiam
Location Leader, USDA ARS Federal Experimental Station, St. Croix, V.I.
Director, Tick Eradication, Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, College of the Virgin Islands
and the United States Department of Agriculture, cooperating
D. S. Padda, Director
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Pesticide Safety ..................
Environmental Concerns ............
Pesticide Toxicity ...............
Residue Potential ................
Pesticide Formulations ...........
Pests of Agricultural Animals .....
House Flies .................
Stable Flies ...............
Fly Control .................
Horn Fly ....................
Biting and Sucking Lice .....
Cattle Ticks ................
Cattle Scabies ..............
Sheep and Goats ...............
Sheep Ked ...................
Biting and Sucking Lice .....
Sheep Scabies ...............
Nose Bot Fly ................
Wool Maggot ................
Hog Lice ....................
Hog Scabies ..............
Horses and Other Equines .......
Vertebrate Pests ...............
Rats and Mice ..............
W. P. Fitz wateA, V. F. Wiuiam and B. Laoaetz
The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency has set the following standards
for commercial applicators engaged in
agricultural (animal) pest control:
"Applicators applying pesticides
directly to animals must demonstrate
practical knowledge of such animals
and their associated pests. A
practical knowledge is also required
concerning specific pesticide
toxicity and residue potential, since
most animals will frequently be used
for food. Further, the applicator
must know the relative hazards
associated with such factors as
formulation, application techniques,
age of animals, stress and extent of
Pesticides are toxic substances
which can cause severe illness or
death is misused. Although pesticide
accidents do occur from eating or
drinking the product, especially
among children or animals, applicators
can also be injured or killed by
breathing a pesticide vapor or getting
a pesticide on their skin. Repeated
exposure to small amounts of certain
pesticides also can cause severe
Most pesticides can enter the
body through the skin. Some pesti-
cides are toxic enough to cause death
through skin contact alone. Adequate
protection from pesticide poisoning
requires knowledge of:
- symptoms of pesticide poisoning
- first aid procedures for pesticide
poisoning by skin contact,
inhalation, and swallowing
- how to protect the body with
proper clothing, equipment, and
- which kind of respiratory pro-
tective devices to wear and when
to wear them
The user is also responsible for:
- choosing the proper pesticide
for the type of control needed
- the safe transport of the pesticide
- correct storage of pesticides
away from children and unauthori-
- safe mixing and loading of
- correct calibration of application
- correct field or animal application
- cleaning of equipment
- safe disposal of excess pesticides
Pesticides also can be harmful
to the environment if misused. They
can injure plants and animals, leave
illegal residues, and cause other
types of damage. Damage is usually
- contact with non-target plants
- injury to sensitive crops by
- accumulation of pesticides in
the food chain
- movement of pesticides off-target
- pesticide contamination of water
When planning a pesticide
application, choose the pesticide
that will do the least damage while
giving good control. Pesticides
can help the environment when chosen
and used correctly.
Pesticides will protect animals
from pests, but they can be toxic to
animals being treated as well as to
the pests. Apply them correctly to
prevent injury. Individual animals
and species may be sensitive to
certain pesticides. Poisoning
symptoms usually include excessive:
- eye watering
- muscle twitching
Even when animals are healthy,
their age and size are important
considerations when applying pesticides.
Many insecticides are applied according
to the size of the animal with less
being applied to small animals and more
to large animals. Many applications
are applied to the point of runoff.
Generally, this is the amount of
insecticide recommended. Systemic
insecticides and ready-to-use oil
sprays must be applied in exact amounts
for adequate control of pests and
prevention of injury to animals.
Young animals, especially those
under six months of age, should not
be treated when information on the
pesticide label specifically prevents
application to younger animals.
Do not treat animals which are
under stress or which will be put under
Many pests on agricultural animals
can be controlled with very small
quantities of pesticides when applied
to specific areas on the infected
animal. For example, when treating
infested wounds on animals, treat only
the wound and immediate surrounding
When treating livestock for fly
control, it is usually more efficient
to treat animals daily with small
quantities of pesticides. If rubbing
devices are used in places where
animals cannot avoid them, they will
treat themselves daily with small
amounts. The best application
technique gives adequate control
with least excitement of treated animals
and least contamination of the environment.
Individual animals can show
toxicity to certain pesticides and
other materials in pesticide formula-
tions. Sensitive animals should not
be treated or should be treated only
with pesticide formulations non-toxic
to the animal. Brahman beef cattle
can show sensitivity to some organic
phosphate insecticides. For this
reason, organic phosphate pesticides
should not be applied to these
animals if so indicated on the pesti-
cide label. Pesticides should not be
applied in combination with other
pesticides unless so stated on the
The skin of some horses is
extremely sensitive to various pesti-
cide formulations. Before treating
horses, it is recommended that a
small patch of skin on each animal be
treated with pesticide formulation
approximately 24 hours before the
entire animal is treated.
Follow closely the label re-
commendations for time intervals
between application of pesticides
and slaughter or marketing. Failure
to do this can result in illegal
residues. The animals may be con-
fiscated and you could be prosecuted.
Consider the pesticide formulation
when treating animals. Sprays are
generally suited for treating most
animals. Do not let oil sprays
penetrate the hair to the animal's
When using contact insecticides
for external parasites, be sure the
insecticides reach the pest. When
treating for lice, mites and ticks,
use 100-200 pounds of pressure. As
the pesticides normally kill only
the adults and not the eggs, retreatment
is usually needed to kill the newly
hatched pests. In grub spray
treatments, the skin of the animal
and not just the hair must be
thoroughly wetted. Spray pressures
of 200-400 psi are recommended
depending upon the thickness of the
For applying liquid contact
- power sprayers
- knapsack sprayers
- compressed air sprayers
- rubbing devices (back and face
Dust may be applied in the same
way or applied by hand. Systemic
insecticides are picked up and trans-
ported throughout the animal's
system. They can be applied by:
- feed additives
- dipping vats and spray dip
PESTS OF AGRICULTURAL ANIMALS
Agricultural animals are attacked
by mites, ticks, flies, lice, and
other insects, as well as vertebrate
pests. These pests affect animal
- killing animals
- spreading disease agents
- causing diseases
- causing loss of blood
- causing anemia
- reducing weight gains
- directly damaging animals or
- reducing milk production
- lowering feed efficiency
- decreasing animal resistance to
- reduction of available food
supplies through competition
Cattle are an important factor
in the economy of the Islands. They
are attacked by a number of insect
House flies can transmit many
animal diseases, as they feed on manure
and animal secretions. They have
sponging mouthparts. Large numbers
of flies may annoy penned cattle
causing reduced efficiency or production
The egg develops to adult in a life
cycle of about 7 to 14 days. Continuous
development occurs throughout the
This fly is similar to the house
fly but has piercing mouthparts which
protrude bayonet-like from the head.
Stable flies develop in decaying plant
matter such as silage, rotting straw
bedding, and aquatic vegetation. The
life cycle takes about 14-21 days.
Continuous development occurs in the
Sanitation is the key step in
control of these flies. Disposal of
animal wastes and organic debris is
essential. Chemical control works
better when used in conjunction with
good sanitation practices.
If you cannot clean up the
areas where flies develop, spray them
with a larvicide. However, frequent
and prolonged use of insecticides,
particularly larvicides, eventually
results in fly resistance and loss of
effective control. Apply residual
sprays to fly resting areas, such
as fences, feed bunks, buildings, and
vegetation. Repeat application may
also be effective in controlling
house flies. Local milk regulations
determine what control measures may
be used in dairies.
This small, blood-sucking
parasite remains on the animal most
of the time. Migration up to several
miles occurs. The female lays eggs
in fresh individual cow droppings.
The larvae develop here, and the
adult fly then migrates to an animal
host. The life cycle is completed
in 7-14 days.
Control may be achieved by
the use of dust bags, sprays, oilers,
and mineral or feed additives. Self-
applicators are most effective when
cattle are forced to use them daily.
Cattle sprayed by ground rigs or ULV
sprays require periodic treatment.
ULV sprays are satisfactory when
cattle are grouped in open areas.
BITING AND SUCKING LICE
Lice spend their entire life
cycle on the animal. They hatch
from eggs deposited on the hair.
They feed by sucking blood or biting.
The total life cycle takes from 3-4
weeks. Lice are transmitted chiefly
by contact with infested animals.
Dust bags and oilers may aid in
Dense populations of mosquitoes
feeding on the blood of cattle may
affect efficiency of meat and milk
production. Life cycles of mosquitoes
vary greatly, depending on the type
of mosquito and the environment. The
female lays eggs on water or in areas
subject to flooding. Eggs usually
hatch in 2 or 3 days if water is
present. The larval and pupal stages
also develop in water. The larval
stage lasts about a week. Pupae
generally change into adults in 2-3
The best control method is to
eliminate or minimize water-holding
areas. If you cannot get rid of
water containing mosquito larvae,
either add top-feeding minnows
(Gambusia) or apply oils as a larvi-
You can control adults with
residual sprays or with fogs. Use
them in mosquito resting areas, such
as open barns and sheds, weeds, grass,
trees and shrubbery.
Ticks are important parasites
of cattle because they can transmit
several blood diseases such as piro-
plasmosis. In addition loss of blood
and injection of toxins during tick
feeding affect animal health, weight
gains, and milk production.
There are two kinds of ticks:
hard ticks and soft ticks. Hard
ticks have a hard covering over much
of the body. Their mouthparts are
visible when you look at the tick
from above. Soft ticks have a
leathery body covering. Their mouth
parts are not generally visible from
*- ADULT '
Hard ticks usually live in un-
protected environments, such as
fields or brushy woodlots. Soft
ticks are most often found in animal
burrows or in cracks and crevices of
animal houses. Soft ticks may have
several nymphal stages while hard
ticks have only one. Larvae have
6 legs, nymphs and adults have 8
legs. The life cycle of ticks varies
in length from several months to
6-8 years, depending unon the avail-
ability of hosts. Females begin
egg-laying within 3 days to 3 weeks
after feeding. Eggs are laid under
leaves or other debris and hatch
within 30 days. The larvae climb
nearby plants and catch on to passing
animals. Some species remain on the
host while they develop from larvae
to adults. Other species drop to
the ground after each blood meal and
molt to the next stage. Fed females
of all species drop to the ground
Control application depends
upon the species of ticks involved.
For those infesting the body, treat
the entire body with high pressure
sprays or dips. Because of the large
number of soecies and various develop-
mental stages, control may be required
at any time during the year.
Mites are tiny versions of the
tick. Identification of the various
species causing skin irritation is
important in determining methods of
Psoroptic scabies is the most
serious form requiring immediate
quarantine and treatment. The life
cycle is completed in 10-12 days.
Sarcoptic scabies are somewhat
smaller than the common or Psoroptic
mites. The life cycle requires
1-4 weeks. Animals must be quaran-
tined under Federal regulations for
and deposit eggs. These hatch in 1-3
days. The larvae and nymphs either
continue to tunnel or may crawl on
the surface of the skin. The life
cycle is about 2 weeks. Infestation
can cause decreased efficiency.
Treat infested animals by spraying
or dipping them in registered
Sheep and Goats
The insects and related pests
that attack sheep and goats include:
The sheep ked adult is a wingless
fly which spends its entire life
cycle on sheep. It is occasionally
found on goats. The nearby mature
larvae are deposited on wool strands,
where they pupate almost immediately.
Twenty-one days later the ked emerges
and begins to take blood meals.
Mange mites tunnel into the skin
The sheep ked reduces efficiency
reduces efficiency of sheep and causes
a damaging hide condition called
"cockle". Lambs on high energy rations
in feedlots may not need treatments.
Several insecticides are registered
for use on these animals. Application
may be done by spraying, dusting, or
BITING AND SUCKING LICE
Sheep and goat lice cause:
- intense skin irritation, resulting
in reduced quality and quantity
- blood loss, resulting in anemia
Life cycles take from 3-4 weeks.
Transmission is by contact with in-
fested animals. Insecticides applied
as dips, sprays, or dusts will provide
See under CATTLE SCABIES
NOSE BOT FLY.
Living fly larvae are deposited
in the nostril opening of the sheep.
The larvae migrate to head sinuses,
where they develop. At maturity, they
migrate back down the nasal passages
and drop to the ground, where they
develop into adults. The life cycle
takes 6-12 months. Migration of the
larvae irritates the nasal membranes
and causes secondary infections.
The presence of nose bots is
- blood flecks in the nasal mucus
- sheep banging their heads against
feed bunks, fences, or the
No registered treatment is available
The wool maggot or black blow
fly lays eggs in dirty wool or on
wounds. After hatching, the fly
maggots spread over the animal and
feed on dead tissue under the fleece.
The life cycle takes 10-14 days.
Fly infested sheep are restless.
They bite irritated areas, causing
fleece damage and wool loss. Early
shearing and medication of wounds
before blowfly season is an effective
preventative measure. Clipping and
cleaning of the fleece will help
prevent infestations. Insecticide
sprays, dins, or smears are effective
in controlling this pest.
Insects and related pests of
Refer to the section on these
The presence of hog lice may be
indicated by excessive scratching and
rubbing. This causes reddening and
thickening of skin and results in
reduction of weight, particularly in
young pigs. Heavy infestations may
The hog louse is large enough
to be seen easily. It is found
primarily around the shoulders and
ears. Lice remain on the host at
all times. The life cycle is about
a month. Control hog lice with
dusts or sprays or with insecticide
granules applied to the bedding.
Refer to this section under cattle.
Horses and Other Equines
The tropical horse tick is a
serious problem because it transmits
piraplasmosis. All stages can be
found in the ears of the host. The
female drops to the ground to lay eggs.
When the larvae hatch, they reinfest
the horse's ears. The life cycle is
45-60 days under ideal condtions.
Dilute dusts and/or oil-based
insecticide solutions applied to the
ear give satisfactory results. All
other equine ticks are similar to
Only biting lice infest poultry.
They spend their entire life cycle on
the host. The life cycle takes 4-7
weeks. Louse transmission is by
direct contact with infested animals.
Infested birds become restless
and damage themselves by pecking at
body areas. Weight gain and egg
production may decrease. Treatment
consists of application of dusts or
sprays onto the bird or providing
self-treatment devices such as
Several species of mites infest
poultry. The chicken mite feeds on
blood at night whereas the fowl mites
are found on the birds at all times.
Infested birds become irritated
and anemic. If not controlled dense
mite populations may reduce weight
gains and egg laying or cause death.
The life cycle takes 10-21 days. Mitp
infestations are transferred from bird
to bird, and sometimes as the result
of an invasion from wild birds. Other
means are in infested feathers and
poultry handling equipment, flats,
manure, workers, and poultry feet.
Mites are controlled with acaricide
sprays or dusts directly on the
birds or in self-treatment devices.
Mites which infest only the legs of
poultry can be controlled by dipping
the bird in insecticide solutions.
The sticktight fleas may
occasionally become a pest on poultry.
More serious infestations occur on
chicks than on mature birds. Under
extreme conditions, flea infestations
can cause death of chicks and poults.
The adult fleas usually are attached
to the bird around the head. The
immature stages are found in the
Flea control is best achieved
by spraying infested birds and the
premises. The sticktight flea is
not a problem under good sanitation
Many types of domestic flies
are pests on poultry farms. These
include the common house fly and
the drone fly. All these develop
in poultry droppings. Various blow-
fly larvae develop in carcasses of
dead birds and possibly in droppings.
The life cycle of these flies
take from 1-3 weeks. Some flies may
transmit disease to poultry. Adults
which disperse into the surrounding
environment are a nuisance to man and
may transmit human diseases. Good
sanitation is important for successful
fly control. Dead bird disposal and
good water management are also
essential for overall fly control.
See also Fly Control under Cattle.
These Asian animals introduced
under the mistaken concept they would
control rats have become strongly
established on the Islands. They are
a menace to poultry as well as native
ground nesting birds. They could be
a serious rabies reservoir potential
if the disease ever became established
on the Islands.
While most rodenticides would
work against these animals there are
no registered chemicals available.
Control consists of protective
netting for poultry and small steel
jump traps to catch individuals.
RATS AND MICE
These rodents are extremely
important pests of domestic animals
as they can steal eggs, kill young
birds, and transmit diseases such as
trichninosis to hogs. In addition
they eat and contaminate feed and
damage buildings housing farm
They are particularly difficult
to control under animal husbandry
situations because food must be
available to the domestic animals
and it is extremely difficult to keen
them out of typical livestock housing.
Thus outside of "rodent-proofing" vital
feed storage areas with resistant
materials, the only methods available
are continuous reductional efforts.
dusted with calcium
a foot plump duster
do not lead into an
systems can be
cyanide dust through
Common snap traps must be kept
out of reach of small chickens but
are safe for most situations. These
should be modified by enlarging the
bait pan as shown below. When set
perpendicular to rodent runways they
are very effective if a large number
are used and maintained.
Of the two general types of poisons
available (single and multiple dose)
the latter are the safest to use
around domestic animals. These are
the "anticoagulant" poisons which
animals have to eat for 3-14 days
before building up a lethal dose in
the body. Vitamin K, is an effective
antidote. However, it is advisable to
expose these baits under cover where
other animals cannot get to them.
Specially built bait boxes protect
other animals when other cover is not
present and give the rodents an
attractive place in which to feed.