Efficacy of acaricidal tags and pour-on as prophylaxis against ticks and louping-ill in red grouse

M. K. Laurenson, P. J. Hudson, K. McGuire, S. J. Thirgood, H. W. Reid

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18 Scopus citations


This paper examines the efficacy of 10% lambdacyhalothrin-impregnated plastic tags and a deltamethrin pour-on preparation in protecting red grouse chicks from parasitism by ticks and subsequent infection with the louping-ill virus. In 1995, ten red grouse hens (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) in a free-living population in north-east Scotland were fitted with lambdacyhalothrin-impregnated plastic tags, glued to radio transmitters. Chicks of more than 10 days of age from a further ten untreated radio-collared hens were caught and fitted with individual tags to the ptagium. Both treatments significantly reduced tick burdens in the short term. The number of larvae and nymphs on chicks up to 45 days was less under both treatments than on control chicks and tagged chicks had fewer nymphs than chicks from treated hens. Nevertheless, treatments did not reduce viral infection rates nor increase survival to 10 weeks, possibly explained by incomplete treatment of tagged broods and/or direct or indirect mortality due to tags. In 1996 chicks in ten broods from hens with radio transmitters were individually treated at 14 days of age at a rate of 1mg/kg of chick with a deltamethrin pour-on preparation. This preparation significantly reduced the number of larvae and nymphs on grouse chicks 7-10 days after application below the number on untreated controls. At 20 days from application, however, only larval numbers were lower on treated chicks. Nevertheless louping-ill virus infection prevalences were significantly reduced at 35 days of age and survival of chicks to 10 weeks increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science


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