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Working Ranch - November/December 2017

Quarantine Quandary EDITOR: Whilst browsing through the USDA library I came across this outstanding early 20th century artwork by an artist identifi ed only as ‘Haines’ depicting in wonderful detail one of the fever tick species. It’s titled: Dorsal and Ventral Views of Male Boophilus annulatus (now known as Rhipicephalus annulatus). Haines, artist, for Bureau of Animal Industry Annual Report, 1900 (Plate LXXVI). USDA IDENTIFIER 223-003-040-001 Recently, Hurricane Harvey swept through coastal ranches. Thomas is confi dent the storm did not allow tick populations to increase or change quarantine zone boundaries. Joe Paschal, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Livestock Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, reports that the fever tick has adapted to feeding on deer. “We’ve done a good job of increasing our deer population, providing better habitat and reducing parasites, like the screw worm,” Paschal says. “We’ve also introduced new species like the red deer, sika deer and an imported exotic antelope, the nilgai, in far south Texas. More ticks are being found on deer than on cattle.” To control ticks in deer, the USDA and TAHC place ivermectin-treated corn in hog-proof feeders. Sixty days before hunting season, the corn is withdrawn until hunting season ends. Another control method is a four-post feeder. This elevated feeder has four foam-covered posts treated with permethrin. When deer eat the corn, the insecticide coats their neck and ears, killing ticks. These two methods work well on deer; however the nilgai do not eat corn. Despite depopulation and fencing strategies, the nilgai have enlarged their territory, but are not the cause of ticks being found on a Live Oak County farm, 110 miles north of the Permanent Quarantine Zone in late 2016. Ticks have been seen on seven neighboring premises, causing the TAHC to set up a temporary Control Purpose Quarantine Area requiring producers to begin tick treatments on their cattle. “We need to be more observant of our animals, particularly ticks,” Paschal advises. “If you see something that doesn’t look familiar, pull it off without mashing it. Put it in a baggie or a medicine bottle. Call the TAHC at 512-832-6580 and they will direct you to a regional TAHC offi ce and veterinarian.” Mexico still has the fever tick and the protozoan that causes Texas Cattle Fever. The U.S. imports about a million head of stocker calves from Mexico annually. Paschal says those cattle must be tick free when crossing the border and if even one tick is found, the entire shipment is returned to Mexico. Some reports indicate that 50 percent of Mexican cattle have had Texas Cattle Tick fever, so they are carriers. These animals are transported to Texas Panhandle feedyards, which are inhospitable environments for ticks. For more information, visit www. tahc.state.tx.us. To download the free tick app, go to: http://tickapp.tamu. edu. 92 I WORKING RANCH I NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017


Working Ranch - November/December 2017
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