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Nilgai antelope, Boselaphus tragocamelus and white-tailed deer (WTD), Odocoileus virginianus are hosts of cattle fever ticks, Rhipicephalus (=Boophilus) microplus, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Daily use of water troughs and ponds were observed to determine if these locations could be used for field treatment methods for cattle fever ticks using remotely operated field sprayers. Game cameras (n=16) were deployed between June 2020 and September 2022 at two private ranches in Cameron County, TX. Both nilgai and WTD visited water troughs equipped with motion detecting sprayers in similar numbers to ponds, but numbers of animal visits were lower during periods of high rainfall when playa lakes formed. Water troughs may be ecologically friendly lure stations for treatment of cattle fever tick-infested wildlife. Further research is recommended for use of this system in the USDA-APHIS/Texas Animal Health Commission, Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program.

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Subtropical Agriculture and Environments



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