Researchers Found 34 Nymphal Ticks on One Rock Alone! Other nymph hot spots include logs, branches, and twigs

By Dorothy Kupcha Leland

I recently heard a presentation by biologist Greg Hacker, about collecting and testing ticks in the vicinity of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Although the area is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR), it’s not in the boonies. It’s about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, with a sizeable population living nearby. The area is heavily used by the public.

There are actually two projects going on: one focusing on adult ticks, and the other on the immature nymphs. As it turns out, the study of nymphs is the one that really raised my eyebrows.

My personal advice is to wear permethrin-treated clothing when spending time in such a place.

First, some background: For a variety of reasons, in California, nymphal ticks tend to have a much higher Lyme-infection rate than adults. However, because of their size and questing behavior, adults are much easier to collect than nymphs. So traditionally, most studies have been of adult ticks, not nymphs.
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