Presentation Title

Can the Lone Star Tick Invade California?

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 269

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

The Lone Star Tick (LST, Amblyomma americanum) carries a wide variety of pathogens and is the most common tick found attached to humans in the eastern United States. Although LST has been expanding into the Northeast and Upper Midwest, a recent model predicts a stable western range boundary around central Texas and western Oklahoma. Despite its dry climate, Southern California has several vegetation types, such as riparian woodland and chaparral, which create microclimates that are cooler and more humid than the surrounding areas. We placed 15 adult female ticks in 1’ x 1’ x 1’ mesh cages at four sites. Two sunny locations and two shaded locations and recorded the number of surviving ticks daily. Ticks died at a faster rate in sunny sites, which were hotter and drier. At these four sites the most important factor in survivorship was if the ticks were left in the sun or not. Our field experiment shows that adult LST can survive for extended periods of time. Survivorship was significantly different at each field site we tested (P<0.05). LST experienced less mortality at the shaded chaparral and riparian sites compared to the exposed sage scrub sites. Vegetation and other local conditions play an important role in establishing microclimatic conditions that creates suitable habitat for LSTs.

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Nov 12th, 10:30 AM Nov 12th, 10:45 AM

Can the Lone Star Tick Invade California?

HUB 269

The Lone Star Tick (LST, Amblyomma americanum) carries a wide variety of pathogens and is the most common tick found attached to humans in the eastern United States. Although LST has been expanding into the Northeast and Upper Midwest, a recent model predicts a stable western range boundary around central Texas and western Oklahoma. Despite its dry climate, Southern California has several vegetation types, such as riparian woodland and chaparral, which create microclimates that are cooler and more humid than the surrounding areas. We placed 15 adult female ticks in 1’ x 1’ x 1’ mesh cages at four sites. Two sunny locations and two shaded locations and recorded the number of surviving ticks daily. Ticks died at a faster rate in sunny sites, which were hotter and drier. At these four sites the most important factor in survivorship was if the ticks were left in the sun or not. Our field experiment shows that adult LST can survive for extended periods of time. Survivorship was significantly different at each field site we tested (P<0.05). LST experienced less mortality at the shaded chaparral and riparian sites compared to the exposed sage scrub sites. Vegetation and other local conditions play an important role in establishing microclimatic conditions that creates suitable habitat for LSTs.