Ticks and Other Bloodsucking Arthropods as Urban Pests Inside and Outside Dwellings
  Key Words  
  Ectoparasites, dwellings, Ixodes ricinus, urban parks, tick-borne pathogens
  Andrey N. Alekseev, Helen V. Dubinina, Milda Zygutieni and Galina A. Efremova
  The first case of hard ticks, Dermacentor reticulatus (F.) and Ixodes ricinus (L.), as well as mites, Ornithonyssus bacoti (Hirst), and rat lice living in the ground floor office of an apartment building of the city of Minsk, Byelorussia is described. Ectoparasites appeared in the end of November in a house situated 300 m away from the nearest homestead as a result of rat immigration from incompletely destroyed houses nearby, coupled with insufficient disinfestation. Climate warming could have caused I. ricinus ticks appearing in the city parks of Vilnius, Lithuania very early in the season, first collected on April 15, 2005. Ticks collected by flagging totaled 23 nymphs, 39 adults. Among adults, 47.2% specimens showed exoskeleton anomalies; ten of 36 PCR-tested ticks were infected by tick-borne pathogens. Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii and Ehrlichia muris were revealed, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was identified twice while in seven ticks live spirochetes not belonging to the B. burgdorferi s.l. group were found. Dually (two species of Borrelia simultaneously) and triple infected ticks were detected. Multi-infected ticks prevailed among the specimens with exoskeleton abnormalities. Ticks in dwellings, near suburbs and parks infected ixodids are found, indicate that entry of tick-borne infection inside them can not be completely ruled out.