Seasonal activity of ixodid ticks in Podilskyi region
Ixodid ticks are the most important arthropod hematophagies in veterinary medicine. The spread of ticks and tick borne diseases is linked to human activities, including habitat change, deforestation, economic globalization, international animal movements, urbanization and climate change. The research was conducted from March 2018 to March 2019 in Khmelnytsky region. In total were collected 2086 D. reticulatus ticks and 658 I. ricinus ticks. During the studies, two peaks of seasonal activity of both species of ticks were observed according to the average number of specimens in the three study areas. Spring activity began in March, and the peak was observed in April. Males were found to be more active in March and the first half of April, while females dominated males from late May to late June. The second peak of activity in the study area began in mid-September. Since the beginning of September, the activity of ticks has increased almost eight times compared to August. The peak of autumn activity was observed in late October and early November. Active females dominated males from early October to late autumn. From mid-June to mid-September, single specimens of ticks were detected. During the winter, no ticks were found in the experimental plots. On average, in all experimental areas of Khmelnytsky region, ticks were active at a temperature of 10.8 to 27.8 °C (average temperature – 21.6 ± 6.57 °C) and humidity – 39.90–78.20 % (average humidity – 61.79 %). Statistical analysis performed for all study areas showed that air temperature significantly affected the activity of both species of ticks. However, correlations between the number of ticks collected and humidity throughout the study area and in different areas were not observed separately. The largest number of ticks was collected during the period when daylight lasted approximately 12–14 hours; in turn, the lowest number of ticks was detected on days with more than 15 hours of daylight. Statistical analysis confirmed the correlation between the length of daylight and the activity of ticks of both species.
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