Dover Tick Density Study
The Lyme Disease Committee of the Board of Health seeks to decrease incidence of Lyme disease by educating Dover residents and increasing awareness of Lyme disease.
With the activities of a DPH intern under the guidance of Dr. Sam Telford (Tuft’s University) in the summer of 2012 deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) population densities in outdoor recreation areas were assessed to provide a basis for safety recommendations for Dover residents. Ticks were collected once weekly for five weeks (June through mid-July) using drag cloth technique at five sites, each containing a shady transect and an adjacent sunny transect. Of the Ixodes collected, 95% were found in shady transects. Ticks were analyzed and found to carry Lyme (21%), Babesia (19%), Anaplasmosis (6%) and a combination of Lyme/Babesia (11%). There was a higher tick population density in all shady areas combined than in sunny areas, consistent across all sites individually.