Volume 36, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Permethrin-treated cotton, intended as rodent nesting material, was distributed in wooded sites in which the agents of Lyme disease and babesiosis were enzootic, in order to kill immature , the ticks that transmit these human pathogens. Such ticks feed most abundantly on white-footed mice (), apparently the main reservoir hosts of these agents, and tend to concentrate in mouse burrows. Mice captured after permethrin-treated cotton was distributed, were infested by a tenth as many ticks as were those captured in adjacent nontreated sites, a difference that continued throughout the 4-month period of observation. On average, 72% of all mice captured in treated sites were free of ticks, while virtually all mice captured in nontreated sites were infested. Voles (), however, were tick-infested, regardless of site of capture. Laboratory-reated failed to attach to mice captured in treated sites, and most such exposed ticks died. Distribution of permethrin-treated cotton appears to be a means for preventing transmission of the pathogens that cause human babesiosis and Lyme disease.


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