Title

The Efficacy of Tick Collection Methods in Southeastern Virginia

Presenting Author Name/s

Jon Gonzales

Faculty Advisor

Hollf Gaff

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Entomology | Other Animal Sciences

Description/Abstract

Tick researchers use two most prevalent methods of collection for active surveillance, flagging and dragging. Flagging is practiced by attaching a cloth to the end of a rod resembling a “flag” and sweeping across the surface of the ground to collect ticks. Meanwhile dragging, a method most commonly used in the northern United States, is comprised of a cloth fixed onto a rod and then dragged like a sled across the ground. Our study aims to find which method is best suited for collection among different species here in Southeastern Virginia. To achieve this we conducted our study at Hoffler Creek, a wildlife preserve in Portsmouth, Virginia, which has both deciduous and non-deciduous trees with a thick understory and banked by a large lake provided us with a perfect representation of Southeastern Virginia’s ecosystem. Three 100 meter transects were set for each scenario where we varied the method (dragging with inspection on the ground, dragging with inspection in a nearby tree, or flagging), type of cloth used (narrow corduroy, wide corduroy, or denim). Each transect was equal effort and ran biweekly continuously over the course of four months from late May to August 2018.

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium

Start Date

2-2-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 12:30 PM

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Feb 2nd, 8:00 AM Feb 2nd, 12:30 PM

The Efficacy of Tick Collection Methods in Southeastern Virginia

Learning Commons, Northwest Atrium

Tick researchers use two most prevalent methods of collection for active surveillance, flagging and dragging. Flagging is practiced by attaching a cloth to the end of a rod resembling a “flag” and sweeping across the surface of the ground to collect ticks. Meanwhile dragging, a method most commonly used in the northern United States, is comprised of a cloth fixed onto a rod and then dragged like a sled across the ground. Our study aims to find which method is best suited for collection among different species here in Southeastern Virginia. To achieve this we conducted our study at Hoffler Creek, a wildlife preserve in Portsmouth, Virginia, which has both deciduous and non-deciduous trees with a thick understory and banked by a large lake provided us with a perfect representation of Southeastern Virginia’s ecosystem. Three 100 meter transects were set for each scenario where we varied the method (dragging with inspection on the ground, dragging with inspection in a nearby tree, or flagging), type of cloth used (narrow corduroy, wide corduroy, or denim). Each transect was equal effort and ran biweekly continuously over the course of four months from late May to August 2018.