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Welcome to the Public Tick IPM Working Group.

The goal of the Public Tick IPM Working Group is to organize and expand the network working to reduce the risk of exposure to infected ticks by collaborating on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and ITM related activities, exchanging knowledge and sharing resources effectively.

There are a total of seventeen tick-borne diseases within the US, with eleven diseases known to infect humans (http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/). The most common of these is Lyme disease, of which CDC estimates there are 300,000 diagnosed cases each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013). Ticks and the pathogens they carry are an emerging issue in the North Central Region. The Working Group welcomes both government and nongovernment members and works to complement the efforts of the existing federal group. Funding for the Working Group is provided by the USDA North Central IPM Center.

Here you will find information on our activities, past conference call meeting minutes and links to related resourcesFind out more about our Working Group and how to get involved.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program through the North Central IPM Center (2014-70006-22486). 

First Recognized Human Bite in the United States by the Asian Longhorned Tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis

A case summary published in late May in Clinical Infectious Diseases recognizes the first human to have been bitten by the Haemaphysalis longicornis tick in the United States, which occurred in New York State in 2018. The Asian longhorned tick was first formally detected in the U.S. on a sheep in New Jersey in 2017.

Article: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/06/07/730443421/asias-longhorned-tick-takes-its-first-documented-bite-in-the-u-s

Paper: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bryon_Backenson/publication/333579400_First_Recognized_Human_Bite_in_the_United_States_by_the_Asian_Longhorned_Tick_Haemaphysalislongicornis/links/5d07ab66299bf1f539ca0998/First-Recognized-Human-Bite-in-the-United-States-by-the-Asian-Longhorned-Tick-Haemaphysalislongicornis.pdf

Tick threat not necessarily linked to longer grass in urban backyards

In a recent publication, USDA Forest Service researchers Susannah Lerman and Vince D’Amico report on their quest to get to the bottom of a common assumption that ticks like long grass. They tested the hypothesis that lawn mowing frequency influences tick occurrence in 16 suburban yards in Springfield, MA. by conducted tick drags in lawns of various lawn mowing frequencies . They  did not collect any ticks of any species. Promoting frequent mowing (i.e., shorter lawns) and the removal of grass clippings could have minimal impacts on tick microhabitats, but is consequential for beneficial wildlife and other ecosystem services associated with urban biodiversity.”

Science Daily Article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190403155411.htm

PLOS One Article: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0214615

Ted Talk about the threat Ticks pose to Human Health

In this talk, we learn about the dangerous threats that the expansion of ticks in the world means to human health. Mary Beth Pfeiffer is the nation’s leading investigative reporter on Lyme disease, winning seven awards since 2012 for her reporting on the tick-borne scourge. She recently authored the book Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change, which has been endorsed by Jane Goodall and Bill McKibbon and praised as “superbly written” and a “powerful wakeup call.”

Use think link to view the talk.

Distribution, Host-Seeking Phenology, and Host and Habitat Associations of Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks, Staten Island, New York, USA

 Haemaphysalis longicornis, an invasive Ixodid tick, was recently reported in the eastern United States. The emergence of these ticks represents a potential threat for livestock, wildlife, and human health. We describe the distribution, host-seeking phenology, and host and habitat associations of these ticks on Staten Island, New York, a borough of New York City.

See full article: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/25/4/18-1541_article

Tick-borne disease is multiple microbial in nature

A study recently published in Scientific Reports discovered that 65% of Lyme disease patients irrespective of their disease stage respond to several microbes. As a consequence, the authors have demonstrated that microbial infections in individuals suffering from Lyme disease do not follow the “one microbe, one disease” status-quo. Moreover, the probability that Lyme disease patients would respond to multiple microbes associated with the tick-borne disease is an astounding 85 %.

Article: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20181101/Tick-borne-disease-is-multiple-microbial-in-nature.aspx

Paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-34393-9?fbclid=IwAR3k-zPy2rJu8OuFl3HHqJ0twLPJvQrxiIUALUs0T-BuuJ50_1VQVwcflIQ 

Tick Study – Blacklegged Ticks Larvae and Nymphs’ Habitat is a Mystery in the Southern U.S.

In the southern U.S., blacklegged tick larvae and nymphs can be found on hosts, but they don’t otherwise show up in vegetation or—as a new study finds—in leaf litter or soil either. Learn more about how researchers at Texas A&M University dug up leaf litter and soil samples hoping to uncover the life history of larval and nymphal blacklegged ticks:

Entomology Today –


Journal of Medical Entomology –



TickEncounter Uses Crowd Sourced Information to Learn About Asian Longhorned Ticks

Tom Mather’s blog provides evidence for using the “Power of the Crowd” and ground proofing certain findings. Tom’s most recent write up about a trip to Staten Island in search of the Asian longhorned tick is a must read: https://tickencounter.org/tick_notes/three_surprising_things

The articles three surprising findings are:

  1. Longicornus larvae hang out together on the tips of grasses, but like a bomb, they explode when something brushes by.
  2. Without magnification, nymphal Asian longhorned ticks look very similar to nymphal Lone Star ticks.
  3. Asian longhorned ticks are way more established than Tom expected to find.



Schumer Says Amendment Would Increase Funding To Fight Lyme Disease

An amendment that passed in the Senate would increase Lyme disease funding from fiscal year 2018’s level of $10.7 million to $12 million for fiscal year 2019. The amendment, made by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, would become a part of the Health and Human Services Appropriations bill.

Read more about the amendment here: http://www.wamc.org/post/schumer-says-amendment-would-increase-funding-fight-lyme-disease