Predation on the Lone Star Tick by the Imported Fire Ant - 1972 wrote:
In tests conducted at Baton Rouge and Pine Grove, Louisiana, various stages of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.), were released in areas infested with the imported fire ant, Solenopsis saevissima richteri Forel, and in areas where mirex bait was applied to suppress ant populations. A significant (P<0.01) greater survival of tick eggs and engorged tick larvae occurred in the mirex-treatcd area after 24, 48, and 72 hours of exposure to fire ant predation. About 75% of the ticks released in the mirex-treated plot in August and September 1970 as nymphs were recovered as adults in March 1971. No ticks were recovered in the ant-infested plot.
Engorged female ticks confined in hardware-cloth cages had a much higher survival rate in the mirex-treated plots.
Predation of the cattle tick in three Australian pastures - 2000 wrote:
Predation of engorged females of the cattle tick Boophilus microplus (Canestrini) in pasture was recorded in central and southern Queensland for different periods during 1969-1973 and again in central Queensland in 1984. Patterns of damage and removal of ticks were consistent with direct observations that indicated that ants and the house mouse (Mus musculus L.) were the only significant predators, so these species were assumed to account for all the observed predation. At Amberley, southern Queensland, ticks sealed in nylon gauze cylinders to protect them from ants suffered less predation than ticks in unsealed cylinders that suffered predation by ants as well as mice. Predation rates were higher in long grass than in medium or short grass, probably because the long grass provided greater protection for predators. Predation rates at Jimboomba in southern Queensland were similar at a hill-top site and on a flat adjacent to a dam with higher soil moisture and denser cover, but there were major differences between years. In central Queensland, ants were consistent predators while the house mouse was responsible for high levels of predation when in plague numbers for a period of time during the study. Losses of ticks attributed to mice were related to coarse estimates of mouse abundance. In 1984, most affected ticks were attacked within 48 h of placement in the pasture. In central Queensland, mouse predation was higher in winter, while ant predation was more frequent in summer. A simulation model of tick populations indicated that a less than proportional reduction can be expected in numbers of parasitic ticks with increases in the predation rate. Those effects will be more evident in less favourable habitats for the ticks.
Dale Hodgins wrote:If chickens, ducks and Guinea fowl were present, do you think that there would be many ticks for the ants to hunt ?