Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2006
Publication Date: 1/2/2007
Citation: Carroll, J.F. 2007. A note on the occurrence of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae) in the greater Baltimore-Washington area. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 109(1):253-256. Interpretive Summary: The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, is an increasingly serious public health problem, not only because it readily bites people, but because in recent years it has been shown to transmit pathogens (e. g., Ehrlichia chaffeensis) that affect humans. Lone star ticks are extending their range in the northeastern U. S. The abundance of forested habitats and white-tailed deer in the heavily suburbanized Baltimore-Washington Corridor, favor establishment of A. americanum. To assess the spread of this species in south central Maryland, locations in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor were sampled by flagging for host-seeking ticks in state and municipal parks and other suitable habitats. Lone star ticks were found on the southern and eastern part of the corridor, in areas where they were scarce or absent 15-20 years ago. In the coming years, residents and public health professionals in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor will need to increase their awareness of A. americanum and the diseases they transmit.
Technical Abstract: The medically important lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, is expanding its range in the northeastern U. S. The presence of ample suitable habitat and hosts in the heavily suburbanized Baltimore-Washington Corridor favor colonization by A. americanum. To assess the distribution of A. americanum in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor nine park areas were sampled for host-seeking ticks by flagging. Combined with other A. americanum collection data, the results of the survey indicate that the species is established in the southern and eastern part of the corridor, in areas where it was scarce or absent 15-20 years ago. Residents and health care professionals in south-central Maryland will need to become more aware of the dangers of A. americanum and the pathogens they may transmit.