Schoolyards and suburban parks are two environments where active tick surveillance may inform local management approaches. Even in a state such as New York with a robust active tick surveillance programme operated by the state Department of Health, these settings are not routinely covered. The goal of this study was to highlight the importance of active surveillance for tick-borne pathogens by describing their prevalence in ticks collected from schoolyards and suburban parks and to guide the use of integrated pest management in these settings. Tick dragging was performed in three regions of New York State: Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley and the Capital Region. A total of 19 schoolyards and 32 parks were sampled. The location, habitat and weather at the time of tick collection were recorded. Ticks were speciated and tested for the presence of 17 pathogens with a novel application of nanoscale real-time PCR.

  • The causative agents of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Powassan virus disease were all detected from Ixodes scapularis in various sites throughout the capital region and south-eastern counties of New York state.


  • The most common agent detected was Borrelia burgdorferi


  • coinfection rates were as high as 36%


  • This surveillance study also captured the first of the invasive Asian longhorned tick species,Haemaphysalis longicornis, in New York state (collected 2 June 2017).

Results from this study highlight the importance of collaborative efforts and data sharing for improvement of surveillance for tick-borne disease agents.



This study doesn’t surprise me one bit.  New York is a hot-zone and it only follows that parks and schoolyards would be prime tick locations.  Here in Wisconsin, they’ve found ticks even in shortly cut grassy playing fields that school children use. They aren’t just in the shrubby and wooded areas commonly thought of.

It is imperative we get the word out.  By taking simple precautions you can make your children tough targets:

You can purchase pre-treated socks from Wisconsin Lyme Network AND help by having part of the proceeds go toward Wisconsin doctor education for tick-borne illness:  These socks make great stocking stuffers for Christmas.

Lastly, this study shows the importance of coinfection as 36% of ticks were infected with more than one pathogen.  ‘Authorities’ have not dealt with this crucial issue that’s affecting many patients and the need for them to rethink and revise their ‘guidelines’ that they’ve left virtually untouched for over 40 years. Treatment is far more complex than they are admitting to:






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