The 4-Poster device is a passive feeding station designed to control ticks that utilize white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) as a host. As deer feed on bait (corn) at the station, tickicide-treated rollers brush against the animals' neck, head and ears where many adult ticks feed. Deer are a key host for adult blacklegged (Ixodes scapularis) and for immature and adult lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum). Several studies (Carroll et al 2002, Pound et al 2000a, Pound et al 2000b, Solberg et al 2003)1 have shown large reductions in tick populations in the years following use of 4-Poster devices. In 2008, this study was initiated as a condition of the New York State Special Local Need Registration (SLN NY-070005) for the 4-Poster Tickicide Device (EPA Registration Number 39039-12) to investigate human and wildlife associated risks due to changes in deer movement and behavior from placement of 4-Posters and permethrin2 residues in and on deer, and efficacy of the technology for control of blacklegged and lone star ticks. The work is being conducted on Shelter Island (SI) and Fire Island (FI), where 4-Posters are being deployed, and in the Village of North Haven (NH), which is included as a control site.
2 Permethrin Fact Sheet N.P.I.C. (pdf) Permethrin RED U.S. E.P.A. (pdf)
1 Carroll, J.F., Allen, P.C., Hill, D.E., Pound, J., Miller, J., George, J.
2002. Control of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum using the
'4-poster' treatment device on deer in Maryland. Experimental and Applied
Pound, J. M., J. A. Miller, and C. A. Lemeilleur. 2000a. The ‘4-Poster’
passive topical treatment device to apply acaricide for controlling ticks
(Acari: Ixodidae) feeding on white-tailed deer. Journal of Medical
Entomology 37: 588-594.
Pound, J. M., J. A. Miller, and J. E. George. 2000b. Efficacy of Amitraz
applied to white-tailed deer by the ‘4-Poster’ topical treatment device in
controlling free-living lone star ticks (Acari: Ixodidae). Journal of
Medical Entomology 37: 878-884
Solberg, V. B., J. A. Miller, T. Hadfield, R. Burge, J. M. Schech, and J.
M. Pound. 2003. Control of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) with
topical self-application of permethrin by white-tailed deer inhabiting
NASA, Beltsville, Maryland. Journal of Vector Ecology 28: 117-134.
We anticipate our research will provide vital information on the interaction of wildlife, and the value of host applied tickicide treatments for reducing blacklegged and lone star tick numbers in Suffolk County. Furthermore, the results of this research may potentially reduce numbers of nuisance ticks and aid in the prevention of tick associated disease and illness.
Department of Natural Resources and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County