The range of ticks in North America has been steadily increasing likely, in part, due to climate change. Along with it, there has been a rise in cases of tick-borne disease. Among those medically important tick species of particular concern are Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), Dermacentor variabilis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), and Amblyomma americanum Linneaus (Acari: Ixodidae). The aim of this study was to determine if climate factors explain existing differences in abundance of the three aforementioned tick species between two climatically different regions of Illinois (Central and Southern), and if climate variables impact each species differently. We used both zero-inflated regression approaches and Bayesian network analyses to assess relationships among environmental variables and tick abundance. Results suggested that the maximum average temperature and total precipitation are associated with differential impact on species abundance and that this difference varied by region. Results also reinforced a differential level of resistance to desiccation among these tick species. Our findings help to further define risk periods of tick exposure for the general public, and reinforce the importance of responding to each tick species differently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-709
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number2
Early online dateDec 7 2021
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • abundance
  • precipitation
  • temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


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