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Truncated seasonal activity patterns of the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) in central and southern California

Publication date: Available online 25 October 2015 Source:Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases Author(s): Andrew J. MacDonald, Cheryl J. Briggs Patterns of seasonal activity and density of host-seeking western blacklegged ticks, Ixodes pacificus, were investigated in central and southern California. Weekly to monthly drag sampling was undertaken at two sites in Santa Barbara County and one site in Los Angeles County over multiple years. Adult I. pacificus became active in the winter (late November) and were rare or absent by late April to early May. Nymphal ticks became active in early to late February, were absent by early May to early June, and were rarely encountered using the drag method throughout their period of peak seasonal activity. Larval ticks became active earlier in the season, or at the same time as nymphs (early to late February) and were absent by early May. These results suggest a highly truncated period of I. pacificus seasonal questing activity, particularly apparent in the juvenile tick stages, in central and southern California relative to observed patterns in Lyme-endemic northwestern California. Notably, the highly truncated period of questing activity of the juvenile stages has important implications for pathogen transmission dynamics in that there exists only a brief window for horizontally transmitted pathogens to be acquired by one tick cohort and subsequently transmitted, through hosts, to the next tick cohort in this system. The broader patterns obse...
Source: Ticks and Tick borne Diseases - Category: Zoology Source Type: research

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