A life stage-targeted acaricide application approach for the control of Haemaphysalis longicornis

Matthew Bickerton, Kathryn McSorley, Alvaro Toledo

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5 Scopus citations


Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann is an invasive tick species that has recently been detected in the eastern United States. We designed field studies to monitor the population dynamics of H. longicornis over a year (2019) in New Jersey, and to assess the efficacy of a pyrethroid acaricide (lambda-cyhalothrin) in controlling this tick using a stage-treatment approach. Nymphs were the most abundant life stage found host-seeking from May through early July, followed by a brief period of high adult activity in mid-July, and a very high larval peak extending from late July through October. Overall, 542 adults, 1910 nymphs, and 69,238 larvae were recorded during the sampling. In the present study, the efficacy of acaricide treatments to suppress host-seeking ticks was assessed by applying lambda-cyhalothrin once during each of the three periods of activity for nymphs (June), adults (July), and larvae (August), or sequentially during all three months. Control plots were left untreated and used for phenology studies. Applications in June and July provided 100 % control of all life stages, including the dominant nymphal and adult stages for 42 and 35 d, respectively. Ticks re-established at normal or reduced levels following applications in June or July, respectively, compared to untreated controls. The application in August provided 100 % control for 49 d, and a high level of suppression (>99 % control) remained through the end of the tick season in October. This study therefore supports that single pyrethroid applications can provide 100 % control of H. longicornis for up to 7 wk, and a single late-summer application towards the end of host-seeking adult activity can provide near complete control of the larval population. An evaluation of single applications over the course of the season revealed that treatments in July or August did not lead to significant reductions in the nymphal population. However, multiple sequential treatments targeting all life stages provided 66 %, 97 %, and >99 % control of adults, nymphs, and larvae, respectively through the season of H. longicornis activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101581
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Asian longhorned tick
  • Control
  • Haemaphysalis longicornis
  • Lambda-cyhalothrin
  • Phenology


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