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Article

Impacts of Deciduous Leaf Litter and Snow Presence on Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) Overwintering Survival in Coastal New England, USA

1
Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, P. O. Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504, USA
2
Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, 81 Research Drive, Scarborough, ME 04074, USA
Insects 2019, 10(8), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080227
Received: 18 June 2019 / Revised: 17 July 2019 / Accepted: 27 July 2019 / Published: 30 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tick Surveillance and Tick-borne Diseases)
Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis Say) are the vector for pathogens that cause more cases of human disease than any other arthropod. Lyme disease is the most common, caused by the bacterial spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi (Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt, and Brenner) in the northeastern United States. Further knowledge of seasonal effects on survival is important for management and modeling of both blacklegged ticks and tick-borne diseases. The focus of our study was on the impact of environmental factors on overwintering success of nymphal blacklegged ticks. In a three-year field study conducted in Connecticut and Maine, we determined that ground-level conditions play an important role in unfed nymphal overwintering survival. Ticks in plots where leaf litter and snow accumulation were unmanipulated had significantly greater survival compared to those where leaf litter was removed (p = 0.045) and where both leaf litter and snow were removed (p = 0.008). Additionally, we determined that the key overwintering predictors for nymphal blacklegged tick survival were the mean and mean minimum temperatures within a year. The findings of this research can be utilized in both small- and large-scale management of blacklegged ticks to potentially reduce the risk and occurrence of tick-borne diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated tick management; Ixodes scapularis; overwintering survival integrated tick management; Ixodes scapularis; overwintering survival
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MDPI and ACS Style

Linske, M.A.; Stafford, K.C., III; Williams, S.C.; Lubelczyk, C.B.; Welch, M.; Henderson, E.F. Impacts of Deciduous Leaf Litter and Snow Presence on Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) Overwintering Survival in Coastal New England, USA. Insects 2019, 10, 227. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080227

AMA Style

Linske MA, Stafford KC III, Williams SC, Lubelczyk CB, Welch M, Henderson EF. Impacts of Deciduous Leaf Litter and Snow Presence on Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) Overwintering Survival in Coastal New England, USA. Insects. 2019; 10(8):227. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080227

Chicago/Turabian Style

Linske, Megan A., Kirby C. Stafford III, Scott C. Williams, Charles B. Lubelczyk, Margret Welch, and Elizabeth F. Henderson. 2019. "Impacts of Deciduous Leaf Litter and Snow Presence on Nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) Overwintering Survival in Coastal New England, USA" Insects 10, no. 8: 227. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080227

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