Single Mowing Event Does Not Reduce Abundance of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) and Dermacentor variabilis (Acari: Ixodidae) on Recreational Hiking Trails 

Posted by Vector and Vector-borne Disease Committee
January 13, 2023

Lee,X., et al.  2023.  J. Med. Entomol. 60: 22.

Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI 53706.  Email:

Abstract [condensed]:   Mowing vegetation is a recommended method to control ticks, but few studies have evaluated the efficacy of this practice.  This study determined if a single mowing event could reduce the abundance of host-seeking ticks on recreational trails. The authors encountered a total of 3,456 ticks (2,459 Ixodes scapularis Say and 997 Dermacentor variabilis L.) during the 7-week study period. There were no significant differences in the abundance of I. scapularis (adults) or D. variabilis (adults only) between control and mown trail sections. Mowing was a significant predictor of nymphal I. scapularis abundance, but trended towards more ticks in mown sections compared to controls. These results suggest that a single mowing intervention during early June is likely to be ineffective as a strategy to reduce the risk of human contacts with ticks on trails.

Note:  Vegetation was mowed to a height of 8 cm, but this did not appear to reduce the numbers of ticks that could be sampled by dragging, indicating there potentially was no impact on the risk of tick attachment.