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Five species of ixodid ticks that frequently feed on humans, Ixodes dammini, I. scapularis, I. pacificus I. ricinus, and I. persulcatus, are competent vectors of B. burgdorferi. Collectively, these species are distributed over vast areas of North America, Europe, and Asia.
Lyme disease is becoming prevalent because of increased human exposure to infected ticks. Chemical and environmental methods of controlling these ticks over large areas will be difficult because none of these species is concentrated in a particular habitat. In relatively small local areas and special habitats such as islands, ticks may be reduced significantly by application of chemicals or by altering the environment. For example, areas surrounding homes may be successfully treated with timely applications of chemicals; reductions in ticks may be achieved by eliminating significant host animals, such as deer. Satisfactory biologic methods of control are presently unavailable. Personal protection efforts taken by the individual, such as using repellents on clothing or skin, wearing clothing that prevents ticks from easily gaining access to skin, and locating and removing attached ticks promptly, may be the most effective measures that can be taken to reduce risk of contracting