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J Med Entomol. 1995 Sep;32(5):730-3.

Suppression of subadult Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) following removal of leaf litter.

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Division of Epidemiology, NJDOH, Trenton 08625, USA.


Removal of leaf litter in wooded areas of a forested residential community significantly reduced the abundance of questing blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, nymphs throughout their peak activity period. Removal of leaf litter, using hand rakes and leaf blowers during the early spring (March) and early summer (June) resulted in reductions in nymphal tick density ranging from 72.7 to 100%. Subsequent sampling of the I. scapularis population during the summer revealed similar rates of suppression of larvae. Although leaf removal provides levels of suppression similar to more traditional methods, including chemical acaricides, it is labor intensive and not free of possible nontarget effects. The potential role of leaf litter removal in an integrated program to control I. scapularis is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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