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Research by Friends of IPM graduate student winner helps Tennessee ranchers with tick scouting

Cattle owners in western Tennessee need to be vigilant for four species of cattle tick, while cattle owners in eastern Tennessee need to watch for only two species. Why? That’s what research done by a Masters student at the University of Tennessee aims to address.

Masters student David Theuret, who won one of this year’s Friends of Southern IPM graduate student awards, focused on ticks infesting cattle during his graduate program. To assist cattle producers with scouting, Theuret first sampled ticks in Tennessee to determine which species were present and what times of year producers would need to watch for them. Continue reading

Reducing your chances of getting bitten by ticks

Most people know about wearing insect repellent and long pants to prevent getting bitten by ticks, but there are also ways to reduce tick populations in your yards. For instance, making sure that loose leaves are kept to a minimum, treating heavily wooded areas with pesticides meant to kill ticks and mites, and treating some of the animal hosts for ticks are other ways to reduce tick numbers in your yard.

Read Entomology Today to see the detailed suggestions for how to protect yourself from ticks.

Ticks to look out for – by state

Even though nearly all media attention is on mosquitoes this summer, most people fear ticks more. At A Bug Day in Gastonia in May, I talked to several people who weren’t as worried about mosquitoes as they were about ticks. Perhaps that’s because ticks attach to a person and hang on for a while.

If a tick bites you or someone in your family, you’re probably going to go to the doctor’s office. And what is the doctor going to ask? Probably what kind of tick bit you! Each tick transmits a different pathogen, so it’s important to know which species of tick bit you. That will help the doctor determine what to treat you for. Continue reading

CDC researcher finds that blacklegged tick range has increase by nearly half

A researcher at the Centers for Disease Control has found that the blacklegged tick—the tick that transmits Lyme disease—is in 44.7 percent more counties than it was in 1998. A post in the Entomology Today blog reported on the findings on January 18. The research was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Over the last twenty years, the number of Lyme disease cases has tripled, infecting at least 300,000 people per year. Over that time disease reports have spread from the Northeast and upper Midwest regions to other areas of the U.S. Continue reading