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Microgeographic distribution of immature Ixodes dammini ticks correlated with that of deer.

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Abstract

In order to determine whether the small-scale distribution of immature Ixodes dammini Spielman et al. corresponds closely to the activity patterns of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman), these relationships were examined in a site on Long Island, New York, U.S.A. We first determined the extent and temporal pattern of adult ticks feeding on deer by examining twenty-three resident deer tranquilized during September-December 1985. I. dammini adults infested deer throughout this fall period, most abundantly during October and November. With radio-telemetry collars attached to deer we determined the relative frequency that they occupied 0.25 ha quadrats of the study site. During the following summer, we examined white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque), that inhabited these quadrats and removed immature ticks from each. 8975 larval and 163 nymphal I. dammini were removed from 208 mice trapped in forty-three such quadrats. The frequency of deer using these quadrats was positively correlated with both the number of larval and of nymphal ticks per mouse. These results suggest that risk of I. damminiborne zoonotic
disease may be decreased by locally reducing deer density in sites that experience intense human activity.

Med Vet Entomol. 1990 Apr;4(2):151-9. Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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