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J Med Entomol. 2013 May;50(3):632-9.

Hunter-killed deer surveillance to assess changes in the prevalence and distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Wisconsin.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin, 237 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706, USA.


As a result of the increasing incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens in Wisconsin, we assessed the distribution of adult blacklegged ticks through collections from hunter-killed deer in 2008 and 2009 and compared results with prior surveys beginning in 1981. Volunteers staffed 21 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources registration stations in 21 counties in the eastern half of Wisconsin in 2008 and 10 stations in seven counties in northwestern Wisconsin in 2009. In total, 786 and 300 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were examined in 2008 and 2009, respectively. All but three stations in 2008 were positive for ticks and all stations in 2009 were positive for ticks. The three sites negative for ticks occurred within the eastern half of Wisconsin. The results indicate that range expansion of Ixodes scapularis (Say) is continuing and the risk of tick exposure is increasing, especially in the eastern one-third of the state.

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