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Title: A Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Questing Hard Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae): A Standardized Tick Dragging Protocol
Abstract Tick-borne diseases are emerging globally, necessitating increased research and coordination of tick surveillance practices. The most widely used technique for active collection of host-seeking, human-biting tick vectors is ‘tick dragging’, by which a cloth is dragged across the top of the vegetation or forest floor and regularly checked for the presence of ticks. Use of variable dragging protocols limits the ability of researchers to combine data sets for comparative analyses or determine patterns and trends across different spatial and temporal scales. Standardization of tick drag collection and reporting methodology will greatly benefit the field of tick-pathogen studies. Based on the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other ecological considerations, we propose that tick dragging should be conducted to sample at least 750 m2 along linear transects when habitat allows in a manner that reduces bias in the sampled area, and report density of each tick species and life stage separately. A protocol for constructing a standard drag cloth, establishing linear transects, and drag sampling is presented, along with a downloadable datasheet that can be modified to suit the needs of different projects. Efforts to align tick surveillance according to these standard best practices will help generate robust data on tick population biology.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1750037
NSF-PAR ID:
10217941
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Editor(s):
Machtinger, Erika
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Insect Science
Volume:
20
Issue:
6
ISSN:
1536-2442
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    Funding:

    RMC is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of the Health under Award Number R25GM122672. CAB, JP, and KSW are supported by the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in the National Science Foundation under Award Number #1838807. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation.

    {"references": ["Ellison A. 2017. Incidence of Ticks and Tick Bites at Harvard Forest since 2006. Environmental Data Initiative. https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/71f12a4ffb7658e71a010866d1805a84. Dataset accessed 6/25/2019", "New York State Department of Health Office of Public Health. 2019. Deer Tick Surveillance: Adults (Oct to Dec) excluding Powassan virus: Beginning 2008. https://health.data.ny.gov/Health/Deer-Tick-Surveillance-Nymphs-May-to-Sept-excludin/kibp-u2ip", "New York State Department of Health Office of Public Health. 2019. Access Nymph Deer Tick Collection Data by County (Excluding Powassan Virus). https://health.data.ny.gov/Health/Deer-Tick-Surveillance-Nymphs-May-to-Sept-excludin/kibp-u2ip", "Ostfeld RS, Levi T, Keesing F, Oggenfuss K, Canham CD (2018) Data from: Tick-borne disease risk in a forest food web. Dryad Digital Repository. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d1c8046", "Oliver JD, Bennett SW, Beati L, Bartholomay LC (2017) Range Expansion and Increasing Borrelia burgdorferi Infection of the Tick Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Iowa, 1990\u20132013. Journal of Medical Entomology 54(6): 1727-1734. https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjx121", "The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. (n.d.). Summaries of tick testing. CT.gov. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://portal.ct.gov/CAES/Fact-Sheets/Tick-Summary/Summaries-of-Tick-Testing", "Jordan, R. A., & Egizi, A. (2019). The growing importance of lone star ticks in a Lyme disease endemic county: Passive tick surveillance in Monmouth County, NJ, 2006 - 2016. PloS one, 14(2), e0211778. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0211778"]} 
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