Practical Guide to Trapping Peromyscus leucopus (Rodentia: Cricetidae) and Peromyscus maniculatus for Vector and Vector-Borne Pathogen Surveillance and Ecology
Journal of Insect Science
Arthropods pests are most frequently associated with both plants and vertebrate animals. Ticks, in particular the blacklegged ticks Ixodes scapularis Say and Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls (Acari: Ixodidae), are associated with wildlife hosts and are the primary vectors of Lyme disease, the most frequently reported vector-borne disease in the United States. Immature blacklegged ticks in the eastern United States frequently use small mammals from the genus Peromyscus as hosts. These mice are
... . These mice are competent reservoirs for Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, as well as other tick-borne pathogens. To conduct surveillance on immature ticks and pathogen circulation in hosts, capture and handling of these small mammals is required. While protocols for rearing and pest surveillance on plants are common, there are very few protocols aimed at entomologists to conduct research on vertebrate–arthropod relationships. The goal of this manuscript is to provide a practical template for trapping Peromyscus spp. for vector and vector-borne pathogen surveillance and ecology for professionals that may not have a background in wildlife research. Important considerations are highlighted when targeting P. leucopus Rafinesque and P. maniculatus Wagner. Specifically, for tick and tick-borne disease-related projects, materials that may be required are suggested and references and other resources for researchers beginning a trapping study are provided.