Impact of Flag Texture on Tick Sampling Efficiency
Background: There is a strong interest in tick-borne diseases worldwide due to their negative impact on both human and animal health. Epidemiological studies of tick-borne diseases depend on reliable data on tick population dynamics and activity patterns. Such data are essentially based on tick sampling in the field. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of cloth type on the efficiency of field sampling by the flagging technique.
Methods: The impact of cloth type on the efficiency of field sampling by the flagging technique was investigated by comparing tick sampling yields of two different fabrics, the Munich type (MUC) vs. the Oxford type (OX), based on 30 pairs of transect lines. Data analysis included classical statistics and computer modelling.
Results: The MUC flag yielded nearly five times more larval ticks than the OX flag, whereas the differences in yields for nymphs and adult ticks were not statistically significant based on classical statistics.
Conclusion: The flag made of MUC type fabric, thanks to its tight and relatively flat texture, facilitates detection and collection of ticks from its surface. The OX flag, due to its loose texture, is unsuitable for the quantitative sampling of larval Ixodes ricinus.