Tick Projects

The Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease leads several innovative research projects related to tick biology and control. Our goal is to better understand tick behavior and develop better ways to control ticks and help people avoid tick bites and tick-borne disease.

Current Research Projects

The Tick App

A free smartphone app helping users reduce their tick-borne disease risk. Users can submit photos of ticks they find on themselves to learn about potential disease risk.

Partners: UW-Madison, Michigan State University, and Columbia University

Assess tick control products

We are partnering with companies that make pesticides to test how well their products control ticks in real-life conditions.

Partner: Purdue University

Delivery of tick control products via turbine

We are experimenting with a new way to apply pesticides across larger areas using a mist spray technique powered by turbines mounted on vehicles.

Partners: North Shore Mosquito Abatement District and Northwest Mosquito Abatement District

Novel deer-targeted tick control strategies

We are developing a new way to give medication to wild deer using baits in urban parks. If successful, this system could be used in the future to treat deer with substances that kill ticks.

Partner: Michigan State University

Tick tube evaluation and optimization

We are testing whether tick tubs placed in yards work as designed in the real world and whether they can reduce the number of ticks that can spread disease.

Partner: UW-Madison

Evaluation of commercial pest control company pesticide treatments

We are working with pest control companies to see how well the pesticides they apply reduce the number of ticks found in residential yards.

Partner: UW-Madison