, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 27-36

Landscape features associated with lyme disease risk in a suburban residential environment

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The landscape features of residential properties within two communities were studied in relation to the abundance of the tick vector Ixodes scapularis. Habitat types of 400 properties, located in a Lyme disease endemic area of Westchester Co., New York, USA, were categorized into lawn, ornamental, ecotone, woods, and stone wall as measured from aerial photographs and sampled for nymphal-stage ticks. Logistic regression results indicate that presence or absence of ticks is influenced by the proportion of either lawn or woodland, and total woodland area. Poisson regression results indicate the abundance of nymphs is negatively associated with proportion, area, and patch frequency of lawn, and positively associated with proportion, area, and patch frequency of woodland. Predictions of tick presence and abundance from landscape features at the scale of individual property is useful for implementing disease prevention measures.