Tick dragging

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Tick dragging is a method for collecting ticks used by parasitologists and other researchers studying tick populations in the wild.

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A United States Environmental Protection Agency researcher dragging for ticks. Tick dragging.jpg
A United States Environmental Protection Agency researcher dragging for ticks.

Method

To conduct a tick drag, a researcher uses a 1-square-metre (11 sq ft) strip of white cloth, usually corduroy, mounted on a pole that is tied to a length of rope. The researcher drags the cloth behind him or her through terrain that is suspected of harboring ticks, working in a grid-like pattern. He or she may also "flag" low-lying bushes and other vegetation by waving the cloth over them. [1]

Tick dragging is one of several methods of harvesting wild ticks for study in the lab. In at least one trial, the tick dragging method proved more successful than more technologically innovative techniques, such as live-baited traps and CO2-baited traps. [2]

The dragging method is a useful way to collect ticks from a large area; CO2 trapping is another method for localized sampling of ticks. Different species of tick also have variable sensitivity or responsiveness to this form of trapping, so its effectiveness can vary with the species of tick the researcher is interested in sampling. [3]

History

The practice of dragging a large white cloth across suspected tick-infested terrain is described in biological field guides from the early 20th century. [4] More sophisticated methods have been developed, but the dragging method continues to be practised by researchers today. [5]

See also

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<i>Ixodes holocyclus</i>

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<i>Dermacentor variabilis</i>

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Anaplasmosis

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<i>Amblyomma americanum</i>

Amblyomma americanum, also known as the lone star tick, the northeastern water tick, or the turkey tick,or the ‘’Cricker Tick’’, is a type of tick indigenous to much of the eastern United States and Mexico, that bites painlessly and commonly goes unnoticed, remaining attached to its host for as long as seven days until it is fully engorged with blood. It is a member of the phylum Arthropoda, class Arachnida. The adult lone star tick is sexually dimorphic, named for a silvery-white, star-shaped spot or "lone star" present near the center of the posterior portion of the adult female shield (scutum); adult males conversely have varied white streaks or spots around the margins of their shields.

Human granulocytic anaplasmosis

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<i>Ixodes pacificus</i> Species of arachnid

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<i>Ixodes persulcatus</i>

Ixodes persulcatus, the taiga tick, is a species of hard-bodied tick distributed from Europe through central and northern Asia to the People’s Republic of China and Japan. The sexual dimorphism of the species is marked, the male being much smaller than the female. Hosts include wild and domestic ungulates, man, dog, rabbit, and other small mammals including the dormouse, Amur hedgehog, and occasionally birds.

<i>Ixodes angustus</i>

Ixodes angustus is a species of parasitic tick, whose range encompasses the majority of Canada and the United States, along with parts of northern Mexico. I. angustus is a member of the Ixodidae (hard-bodied) family of ticks. It is most abundant in cool, moist biomes such as riparian, boreal or montane zones. I. angustus is a host generalist and has been discovered feeding on more than 90 different host species, including humans and domestic dogs. I. angustus has been identified as a potential vector for Lyme disease but is not considered a principle vector due to the relative rarity with which it feeds on humans.

References

  1. "Monitoring and Thresholds for Ticks". NPS on the Web. National Park Service, US Department of the Interior. 2010-01-19. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  2. Richard C. Falco & Durland Fish (1992). "A comparison of methods for sampling the deer tick, Ixodes dammini, in a Lyme disease endemic area". Experimental and Applied Acarology . 14 (2): 165–173. doi:10.1007/BF01219108. PMID   1638929.
  3. Richard C. Falco & Durland Fish (1991). "Horizontal movement of adult Ixodes dammini (Acari, Ixodidae) attracted to CO2-baited traps". Journal of Medical Entomology . 28 (5): 726–729. doi:10.1093/jmedent/28.5.726. PMID   1941943.
  4. William Anson Hooker, F. C. Bishopp, Herbert Poland Wood & Walter David Hunter (1912). The life history and bionomics of some North American ticks. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology. pp.  9.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. Carey Goldberg (February 1, 2012). "The Ultimate Lyme Disease Map – So Far". CommonHealth. Trustees of Boston University. Retrieved September 18, 2012.