The tick Ixodes ricinus (L.) transmits a large variety of pathogens to humans and is therefore a matter of concern for public health. Different strategies for reducing the risk of tick bite, and thus of infection, have been developed and vary according to the kind of exposure (occupational, recreational, peridomestic). The present study (carried out in an endemic region for both Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis) aimed to assess the efficacy of two simple and cheap interventions for reducing I. ricinus abundance around residential properties surrounded by wooded areas. The immediate impact of exclosures (host-targeted control methods) and mowing (vegetation management) on very small surfaces (<1ha) were evaluated both alone and in combination. Results suggest that fencing (even if applied on very small surfaces), by preventing the entrance of tick reproductive hosts, can decrease the abundance of parasites in a short time, and that mowing can contribute to reach the goal. This control method could be of great value in small portions of heavily infested areas that have to be kept tick-free to reduce the risk of peridomestic exposure or to permit their recreational use (e.g. picnic areas within natural parks). Benefits appear even greater when considering that these interventions are environmental safe, cheap, technically simple and effective even in close proximity to heavy infested woodlands.

Fencing and mowing as effective methods for reducing tick abundance on very small, infested plots

DEL FABBRO, Simone
2015

Abstract

The tick Ixodes ricinus (L.) transmits a large variety of pathogens to humans and is therefore a matter of concern for public health. Different strategies for reducing the risk of tick bite, and thus of infection, have been developed and vary according to the kind of exposure (occupational, recreational, peridomestic). The present study (carried out in an endemic region for both Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis) aimed to assess the efficacy of two simple and cheap interventions for reducing I. ricinus abundance around residential properties surrounded by wooded areas. The immediate impact of exclosures (host-targeted control methods) and mowing (vegetation management) on very small surfaces (<1ha) were evaluated both alone and in combination. Results suggest that fencing (even if applied on very small surfaces), by preventing the entrance of tick reproductive hosts, can decrease the abundance of parasites in a short time, and that mowing can contribute to reach the goal. This control method could be of great value in small portions of heavily infested areas that have to be kept tick-free to reduce the risk of peridomestic exposure or to permit their recreational use (e.g. picnic areas within natural parks). Benefits appear even greater when considering that these interventions are environmental safe, cheap, technically simple and effective even in close proximity to heavy infested woodlands.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1066715
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