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A 2-yr evaluation of a commercial product designed to reduce the risk of
Lyme disease by delivering permethrin-treated cotton to white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) was conducted at three sites in Westchester County, N.Y., an area where
Lyme disease is endemic. We examined the numbers of host-seeking nymphal Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin, the numbers of larval I. dammini infesting mice, and the proportion of nymphs infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of
Lyme disease. The density of nymphs collected by drag sampling did not differ between treatment and control areas in the first year for either a woodland or recreational site. In the second year, no significant decrease in the density of nymphs was observed in the treatment areas compared with the control areas. Numbers of larvae on 67 mice captured on treatment and control grids did not differ for woodland and recreational sites, but significantly fewer larvae were found on mice captured at the residential treatment site. The percentage of host-seeking ticks infected with spirochetes did not differ between treatment and control sites in any habitat for either year. The use of permethrin-treated cotton did not measurably reduce the numbers of I. dammini or the proportion of ticks infected with spirochetes at our study sites.