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J Med Entomol. 1997 Nov;34(6):615-23.

Biases associated with several sampling methods used to estimate abundance of Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae).

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  • 1Division of Communicable Diseases, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton 08625, USA.


Several tick sampling methods were evaluated for ixodes scapularis Say and Amblyomma americanum (I.) in oak-dominated mixed hard-wood, pitch pine-dominated, and mixed hardwood and pine forests in coastal New Jersey. Walking surveys were more efficient for collecting I. scapularis adults than dragging by a factor of > 2:1. In contrast, drag sampling yielded nearly twice as many A. americanum adults compared with walking surveys. I. scapularis subadults were rarely collected during walking surveys. A. americanum nymphs were collected from drags approximately 3:1 over walking surveys. Twice as many A. americanum larvae were obtained from drags compared with walking surveys. All developmental stages of A. americanum responded positively to carbon dioxide. Pitfall traps and leaf litter samples collected very few ticks. Tick distribution among habitats varied significantly with the sampling method chosen, and the relative ranking of sites with respect to tick abundance varied depending on the stage of tick sampled. Failure to recognize the biases in these commonly used sampling techniques can potentially lead to incorrect conclusions that can have significant adverse public health consequences.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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