The University of Georgia Seeks Your Help to Study Ticks and Lyme Disease

Archery season is upon us, and we hope you’re getting some time afield.  The University of Georgia (UGA) is conducting an exciting research project on blacklegged (deer) ticks, and we’re helping provide samples.  If you’ll be hunting in any state east of the Rocky Mountains this fall please see the message below about the PhD student conducting the research and contact her if you’re interested in participating.  Thanks and good luck this season.

Julia Frederick is a PhD student at UGA who’s studying blacklegged ticks (frequently called deer ticks), the ticks most responsible for spreading Lyme disease in the United States. Her goal is to collect ticks from at least 2 non-adjacent counties in every state east of the Rockies during this hunting season. We’d appreciate your help in achieving this goal.

Working with QDMA and hunters creates an opportunity to utilize the knowledge and hard work of wildlife professionals and the sporting public to collect ticks across the eastern U.S.  This partnership will improve the understanding of the when, where, why, and how of tick-borne diseases.  UGA will make the collection of ticks as easy and straightforward as possible by mailing a collection kit to interested individuals.  Each kit will include directions on how to remove ticks, tweezers, collection tubes, markers, and a postage-paid return envelope. Ticks would be stored in the collection tubes after removal from the deer during processing.  Hunters will not need to determine if the ticks collected are blacklegged ticks, Julia will identify all ticks returned to her.

UGA believes the data from this project will help to understand how Lyme disease has been spreading and will give a better understanding of Lyme disease risk in different regions.  It will also help them with modeling efforts to predict how Lyme disease may spread further in the future.

If you are interested in being a part of this project, please reach out to Julia at julia.frederick@uga.edu or text her at: (706) 389-9677.  Please include your postal address and the county where you plan to hunt if it is not in the same county as your postal address.  She will respond to your message and then mail a collection kit to you.  If you have any questions about collections, or Julia’s project, don’t hesitate to reach out to her.