Detecting ticks on light versus dark clothing


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Abstract

It is a common belief that ticks are more visible and easier to detect on light clothing in comparison with dark clothing. We studied which of the clothing, light or dark, had the least attractive effect on Ixodes ricinus, thus minimizing exposure and thereby in theory helping to prevent tick-borne diseases in humans. 10 participants, exposed by walking in tick endemic areas, wore alternately light and dark clothing before every new exposure. Nymphal and adult ticks on the clothing were collected and counted. In total, 886 nymphal ticks were collected. The overall mean in found ticks between both groups differed significantly, with 20.8 more ticks per person on light clothing. All participants had more ticks on light clothing in all periods of exposure. Dark clothing seems to attract fewer ticks.

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