applications of insecticides be accomplished. The effectiveness of any residual insecticide will vary with both the species of chigger and the area involved. Consequently, for adequate results, experimentation with materials and application rates may be necessary. Contact the area preventive medicine unit or DVECC for help or guidance.
Control measures for scabies or itch mites should be supervised by a medical officer. Control consists of treating infested individuals with a 1 percent gamma isomer of BHC (lindane) or other prescribed material and heat sterilization of clothing and bedding.
TICKS. Ticks are annoying pests because of their bite and their ability to cause tick paralysis. They also are important vectors of infectious disease, including tularemia, Q fever, endemic relapsing fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick-borne typhus, and Colorado tick fever.
The two principal types of ticks are hard and soft ticks. The hard ticks are identifiable by their distinct hard dorsal covering. They attach themselves to their hosts during feeding and may remain there for a long time before engorgement is completed. The soft ticks lack the distinct hard dorsal covering. They hide in cracks and crevices in houses or in the nests of their hosts and come out at night to feed on the blood of the host for a short period. The larvae and nymphs generally feed several times before molting.
Protection from ticks begins with avoidance of infested areas whenever possible and wearing of protective clothing. High-top shoes, boots, leggings, or socks pulled up over the trouser cuffs help to prevent ticks from crawling onto the legs and body. At the end of the day, or more often, thoroughly inspect the body for attached ticks, making sure that none have migrated from infested to fresh clothing or bedding. This is critical as some species of hard ticks can cause paralysis, resulting in death, especially in small children when allowed to feed for prolonged periods.
Personal application of the standard-issue insect repellent is effective against ticks. Apply the repellent by drawing the mouth of the inverted bottle along the inside and outside of clothing openings. Treatments with 2 fluid ounces (59.15) of repellent per man per treatment have proved to be effective for 3 to 5 days. Impregnation of clothing with repellents is the method of choice for the protection of troops operating in tickinfested areas.
All ticks found on the body should be removed at once. The best method for removing attached ticks is to coat them with Vaseline, baking powder paste, or clear nail polish. Care should be taken not to crush the tick or to break off the embedded mouth parts, which could be a source of infection. The wound should be treated with an antiseptic.
Clearing vegetation from infested areas will aid in the control of ticks and is recommended for bivouac and training grounds. All low vegetation should be uprooted with a bulldozer or cut and then burned or hauled away.
When troops must live or maneuver for periods of time in tick-infested zones, area control by residual application of sprays, dusts, or granules should be achieved. Residual treatments in living spaces are to made to infected areas only.
FLEAS. Fleas are intimately connected with the transmission of disease, including bubonic plague and endemic or murine typhus. They are also the intermediate host of certain parasitic worms.
Fleas are ectoparasites of birds and mammals. The nest or burrow of the host is the breeding place and contains the egg, larva, pupa, and frequently the adult flea. Most fleas do not remain on their hosts continuously. Unlike most bloodsucking insects, fleas feed at frequent intervals, usually at least once a day.
Flea-infested areas should be avoided when possible. Protection can be afforded by wearing protective clothing or by rolling the socks up over the trouser cuffs to prevent fleas from jumping onto the skin. The application of standard-issue insect repellents is effective for short periods.
Transmission of plague and endemic or murine typhus may be controlled by applying insecticidal dusts to rat runs and harborages. If rodent control measures are to be undertaken when flea-borne diseases are prevalent, dust rat burrows before beginning rodent control to prevent fleas from leaving dead or trapped rats and migrating to humans or animals.
Control of dog and cat fleas can be obtained through the use of a dust or a spray applied directly to the animal. Area applications, for the control of dog and cat fleas, may be made using an emulsion.
RODENTS. Rodents such as rats, mice, and ground squirrels are reservoirs for plague, endemic typhus, tularemia, and many other debilitating diseases. In addition, they can cause property damage and destruction. Rodents occur throughout the world; therefore, their control is a problem in any geographic location.