Evaluating the effectiveness of an integrated tick management approach on multiple pathogen infection in Ixodes scapularis questing nymphs and larvae parasitizing white-footed mice.
We investigated the effectiveness of integrated tick management (ITM) approaches in reducing the burden of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia microti, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Ixodes scapularis. We found a
- 52% reduction in encountering a questing nymph in the Metarhizium anisopliae (Met52) and fipronil rodent bait box treatment combination as well as a
- 51% reduction in the combined white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) removal, Met52, and fipronil rodent bait box treatment compared to the control treatment.
- The Met52 and fipronil rodent bait box treatment combination reduced the encounter potential with a questing nymph infected with any pathogen by 53%.
- Compared to the control treatment, the odds of collecting a parasitizing I. scapularis infected with any pathogen from a white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) was reduced by 90% in the combined deer removal, Met52, and fipronil rodent bait box treatment and by
- 93% in the Met52 and fipronil rodent bait box treatment combination.
Our study highlights the utility of these ITM measures in reducing both the abundance of juvenile I. scapularis and infection with the aforementioned pathogens.