Forest products were tested to see if they functioned as a barrier to nymphal Ixodes scapularis. These products could potentially be used to define a border between high density and low density tick zones on residential properties in Lyme disease endemic regions of North America. Common home and garden items were also tested. Three wood products effectively acted as barriers to nymphal I. scapularis: Alaska Yellow Cedar sawdust, Alaska Yellow Cedar woodchips, and cellulose. These three products were then weathered to determine how long they remained active. Cellulose and Alaska Yellow Cedar woodchips lost their activity almost immediately (within three days); in contrast, Alaska Yellow Cedar sawdust impeded crossing by nymphal ticks for up to one month. Creating barriers at the woods-lawn interface may someday play a role in integrated campaigns to prevent Lyme disease but will not serve as a stand-alone measure to block transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes.
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