Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 27
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LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AFFECTED BY ANIMAL DISEASES 27
often held responsible for a drop in milk production during the grub
season. Moreover, millions of pounds of meat are lost annually because
the flesh around the encysted grubs-known as jellied beefmust
be trimmed out and discarded. A cowhide with many grub
holes is considered worthless for tanning and is commonly sold for
byproducts, and even a few holes usually result in a lower price.
The parents of cattle grubs are heel flies that glue their eggs to
the hair on the legs and flanks of cattle. In attempting to avoid these
flies, cattle run wildly about the pasture or range. The female fly
may begin laying her quota of from 300 to 500 fertile eggs on cattle
20 minutes after mating, or only slightly more than an hour from the
time of emergence from the pupal case. When the eggs hatch, the
tiny larvae enter the skin of the animal. In the animal tissues the
larvae move about for 9 months until they reach the loin area on the
back of the animal where they make a breathing hole through the hide.
Soon a cyst forms around each larva where it stays until it drops from
the animal's back to the ground to pupate and emerge as a fly the next
year. Rotenone applied to the infested area on the back is generally
used for the control of cattle grubs. When properly applied this kills
the grub and usually hastens the healing of the animal's back. No
other benefits can be expected until the year after treatment. Killing
the grub breaks the life cycle of the pest and reduces the fly population
during the following season.
Research of the South Dakota station (coop. USDA) has shown
that applying rotenone by hand as a wash to the infested area of the
back was the most effective method of application and killed 85 to 90
percent of the grubs. In this method 5 percent rotenone powder, and
granulated laundry soap are mixed in water. From 1 pint to 1 quart
of this mixture is poured slowly on the back of the animal and
thoroughly scrubbed into the hair coat with a stiff, long-bristled
brush. Spraying killed 75 to 85 percent of the grubs, and dusting
killed 68 to 70 percent. The latter two methods are more rapid and
require less labor than the hand wash method.
The South Dakota station (coop. USDA) also reported that area
control-treating all infested cattle in a locality-was effective. In
one treated area centrally located herds showed a grub reduction of 67
percent below untreated herds immediately outside of the area. Herds
located on or near the edges of two treated areas showed a reduction of
grub infestation below untreated herds, but the percentage of reduction
was not as large as it was in the center of the areas. A cheap,
easily applied, effective control of the grubs before or soon after the
young larvae penetrate the skin is needed.
Ticks not only suck blood from farm animals but also are carriers of
diseases, including anaplasmosis. Research at the Oklahoma station
to reduce tick damage showed that area spraying of pastures with
toxaphene at the rate of 2 pounds per acre reduced the tick population
on cattle using the pasture to one-tenth for over a year, but that the
cost of application was high. Larvae and adults were more easily
controlled than nymphs. A 4-year study of pasture rotation as a
method of reducing tick infestation showed that Amblyomma americanum
(L.) ticks were reduced 75 percent the first year by this method.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/29/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.