Risk of TBDs in Residential Yards of NYC

Parasites & Vectors, (Fernandez, G.P., et al.) published “Risk of tick-borne pathogen spillover into urban yards in New York City” on August 10, 2022.  On Staten Island, New York City, researchers studied local landscapes to determine which features of urban yards were more favorable for ticks. Individual yards (529) were surveyed for ticks across Staten Island. Researchers noted features such as the proportion of land covered by trees and grass, water sources, fence enclosures, types of gardens, and landscape connectivity for each survey area.

The study concluded that the risk of tick exposure on Staten Island was high and that proximity to parks, increased canopy cover of trees, presence of downed logs/brush piles, and landscape connectivity of residential yards increased the risk for ticks, especially for the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum).

The study revealed landscape modifications such as clearing wood and brush piles reduced the presence of all ticks in urban yards. It also found that complete fencing of yards to reduce wildlife movement can make the habitat less suitable for both black-legged ticks and Lonestar ticks. Unfortunately, these findings regarding protective fencing did not hold true for the Asian long-horned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis).

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