CDC grant aims to combat deer ticks

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Centers for Disease Control has given a University of Rhode Island professor $875,000 to test whether commercial products work to combat deer ticks.

Rhode Island just made its way through the second hottest November on record. The warmer weather is making it a perfect climate for deer ticks to thrive in Southern New England. URI entomologist Tom Mather says he's already been able to collect nearly 15,000 ticks by simply picking them off his pants during walks in the woods.

To combat the growth, Mather plans to use a newly awarded grant from the CDC to test, inform and develop tick control products.

He says the goal, "is to have an efficient system for testing these products so that, you know, so that in a short period of time without a lot of labor intensive work you can actually have data on whether or not these products kill deer ticks or not," he says.

Mather adds the deer ticks are larger this time of year. Of those, nearly 60 percent carry Lyme disease.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.