Performance of a prototype baited-trap in attracting and infecting the tick Amblyomma variegatum (Acari: Ixodidae) in field experiments
Kaaya Godwin P.
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Investigations were commenced to study the potential use of the fungi, Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and the attraction-aggregation-attachment pheromone (AAAP) for the control of Ambloyomma variegatum as an environmentally friendly technology. The objective of the study was to develop and test a device, which could be used for pheromone and carbon dioxide delivery and infection of ticks with the fungi in an attempt to control the tick populations in the vegetation. Using a pheromone-baited device treated with the fungi mixture, 79% of the ticks released were attracted and exposed to the fungi and of these, 78% died during incubation in the laboratory. In another set of experiments, of the released ticks that were similarly exposed to fungi using the pheromone-baited device and left in the vegetation, 33.8% were recovered compared to recoveries of between 76 and 84% in the controls. These results were significantly different at the 5% level, an indication that the pheromone/fungi mixtures had significant effect in reducing the tick population in the field.