The effects of bird feeders on Lyme disease prevalence and density of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in a residential area of Dutchess County, New York

J Med Entomol. 2003 Jul;40(4):540-6. doi: 10.1603/0022-2585-40.4.540.


The effects of bird feeders on local densities of Ixodes scapularis ticks and prevalence of Lyme disease were examined in residential areas of Dutchess County, NY. Ticks were collected, counted, and analyzed for Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes in 2001-2002 on residential properties with and without bird feeders. Tick densities and infection prevalence were not significantly different on properties with and without bird feeders. Furthermore, analysis of a questionnaire, administered to 580 local residents in 2001, showed that bird feeders were not associated with the prevalence of Lyme disease. These observations suggest that bird feeders should not be considered a risk factor for Lyme disease in this residential setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • Birds / microbiology*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / isolation & purification*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Ixodes / growth & development*
  • Ixodes / microbiology
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology*
  • Lyme Disease / transmission
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Population Density
  • Prevalence