WE WANT YOUR TICKS

     

RESIDENTS OF ILLINOIS – WE NEED YOUR HELP COLLECTING TICKS!!
It’s important that people remember this is entirely voluntary. If you are not comfortable collecting ticks, which always pose a danger, don’t do it!

Illinois Natural History Survey is attempting to get evidence of presence of the blacklegged tick in Illinois. As an example, Illinois Department of Public Health map named “Known Geographic Distribution of Ixodes scapularis by county in Illinois 2017” lists Mercer County as “suggests the deer tick is present and maybe established.” I sent in several live ticks 10 days ago from a harvested deer and 1 off a cat and just heard from Holly Tuten, Vector Ecologist. She has identified all of them as black legged ticks!! There were 5 females (which lay lots of eggs!!) and 1 male.

Holly explained how helpful this is for their research.

It’s important that people remember this is entirely voluntary. If you are not comfortable collecting ticks, which always pose a danger, don’t do it!

Mail your ticks to the address below. Again – It’s important that people remember this is entirely voluntary. If you are not comfortable collecting ticks, which always pose a danger, don’t do it! Unfortunately, INHS can’t yet offer real-time testing yet; so, if someone needs a specific tick tested with results ASAP, they would still have to use a fee-based national service. If INHS can’t test the tick right away, they will identify them and archive them properly for future testing.

Instructions:
Wear gloves! After removal, place tick(s) in a plastic vial/container with screwtop lid (e.g., a pill bottle) inside a sealable plastic bag (e.g., ziploc). All ticks from an individual can be placed in the same container. If a container isn’t available just put in sealable plastic bag. Put a slightly moist q-tip in bag, seal, and then wrap the top of the bag in packing or duct tape. Place in padded, sealed envelope, or wrap container in padding inside sealed envelope. Basically, prevent the tick from being able to escape or getting crushed. Mail ASAP after removal. In the mailing, include on a piece of paper:
1. their contact information (name/address/phone/e-mail)
2. when and where they found the tick (date, human/pet, location on body, was it moving around or embedded), and the geographic location where they think the tick was acquired.
3. Mail to: Drs. Chris Stone and Holly Tuten, INHS Medical Entomology Lab, 1902 Griffith Drive, Champaign, IL 61820