ABUNDANCE OF THE DEER TICK, IXODES DAMMINI (ACARI: IXODIDAE) IN A LYME DISEASE ENDEMIC AREA OF SOUTHERN NEW YORK STATE
Methods of estimating the abundance of the deer tick, Ixodes dammini, were developed and applied in a Lyme disease endemic area of Westchester County, N.Y. Carbon dioxide-baited tick traps were determined to be effective in sampling I. dammini populations. Four of these traps collected as many as 712 larvae from a single site over a one week period. But, there was no correlation between the numbers of larvae collected from CO(,2)-baited traps and those found parasitizing mice (Peromyscus leucopus) at all of 9 sites studied. Mark-release-recapture experiments showed the CO(,2)-baited traps to be effective in attracting nymphal and adult ticks from average distances of 1.2 m and 1.8 m, respectively, after 6 days. Regression analysis indicates that the attraction distance of traps is a function of time (r('2) = 0.765). Fluorescent powder was determined to be an efficient method of marking ticks for recapture without causing significant mortality.^ A comparison among three methods of sampling I. dammini populations (host trapping, dragging, and CO(,2)-baited traps) showed a significant difference in the numbers of immature ticks collected (analysis of covariance, p < 0.05). All sampling methods were effective in demonstrating the seasonal activity of immature ticks. The dragging method, employing a 1 m('2) flannel cloth, was determined to be the most reliable method for sampling immature I. dammini populations.^ I. dammini infected with the Lyme disease spirochete were shown to be prevalent near the homes of Lyme disease patients, with over 600 adults estimated to occur on a single lawn. I. dammini was also prevalent in 7 of 8 recreational parks studied. At one park, the average distance travelled before encountering a nymphal or adult I. dammini as determined by dragging was only 36 m. Four parks were classified as high risk and four low risk for subjecting patrons to Lyme disease.^ A study of ticks submitted from tick bite victims in Westchester County revealed I. dammini to be the most abundant pest species, accounting for 76.2% of all tick bites. I. dammini bites were reported during all months except December and February and involved all life stages. ^
FALCO, RICHARD CHARLES, "ABUNDANCE OF THE DEER TICK, IXODES DAMMINI (ACARI: IXODIDAE) IN A LYME DISEASE ENDEMIC AREA OF SOUTHERN NEW YORK STATE" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8714587.