Purdue University’s Tick INsiders program is looking for Indiana high school students and other Indiana residents willing to roll down their sleeves to get involved in a citizen science project.
Cate Hill, a Purdue professor of entomology, leads this effort to analyze the bacteria and viruses in Indiana’s ticks to build an understanding of what they are carrying and how that might impact human health. To do that, she needs volunteers to collect ticks from all over the state.
This year the Tick INsiders program will provide training for up to 50 students. Citizen scientists are also now welcome to collect and send ticks to Hill’s lab.
“It’s really important work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that human cases of tick-borne diseases doubled from 2004 to 2016. If we’re going to get a handle on that and develop strategies for reducing tick bites and treating patients, we need to know where our ticks are and what our ticks are carrying around inside them,” Hill said. “That means we need a lot of ticks, and we need help collecting them.”
Three species of ticks – the blacklegged or deer tick, the lone star tick and the American dog tick – are found in Indiana. These ticks can transmit multiple pathogens, nine of which are known to cause human illnesses, though not all have been identified in Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health reports more than 100 cases of Lyme disease each year and dozens of cases of Ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Research suggests that ticks can carry a cocktail of microbes – bacteria and viruses – that can sicken bite victims and may work in concert to affect the severity of an illness and human immune response.
“Not all tick bites are the same. We don’t know what is passed from a tick to a human each time someone is bitten, which means that health care professionals may need to consider multiple tick-borne pathogens in a person who has been bitten by a tick,” Hill said. “This program improves our knowledge so that we can improve our outcomes.”
Indiana residents interested in participating can collect ticks and send them to Hill’s lab for analysis. Videos on safe and proper collection techniques, as well as how to send ticks will be at Tick INsiders.
For full article, see Purdue Agriculture News.
Ticks 101: A Quick Start Guide to Indiana Tick Vectors, The Education Store – Extension Resource
The Biology and Medical Importance of Ticks in Indiana, The Education Store
Mosquitoes, Purdue Extension Entomology
One Small Bite: One Large Problem, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-Forestry and Natural Resources
Mosquitoes and ticks – little pests carry big risks, Got Nature?
Catherine A Hill, Professor of Entomology/Vector Biology
Purdue University Department of Entomology
Having raccoon, groundhog, or other bothersome wildlife problems? Thinking about setting traps to catch these vermin? There is much to consider when using traps, please take a look at the latest pub before setting any box traps around your property.
Wildlife specialists Brian MacGowan and Rick Shadel have collaborated to bring you this new publication: Considerations for Trapping Nuisance Wildlife with Box Traps.
Homeowners commonly set traps to capture and remove wildlife from their home or yard. Setting a box trap improperly can decrease their effectiveness and even lead to safety risks to both people and wildlife. The purpose of this publication is to 1) outline the legal and ethical factors homeowners should consider before setting a trap, 2) review the basic procedure for effectively trapping wildlife, and 3) help you to determine the fate of the captured animal.
If you have a serious, dangerous, or a nuisance wildlife issue, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Consider reading this publication before deciding whether or not you need to hire a professional: Selecting a Nuisance Wildlife Control Professional.
Preventing Wildlife Damage – Do You Need a Permit? – The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Selecting a Nuisance Wildlife Control Professional, The Education Store
How to Construct a Scent Station, The Education Store
Question: How do I properly relocate raccoons from my attic?, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension FNR
Nuisance Wildlife – Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Brian MacGowan, Wildlife Extensions Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources
Article published: Morning Ag Clips: Citizen Scientists — Report Invasive Species
Written by: Emma Ea Ambrose, Agricultural Communication Service, Purdue University
National Invasive Species Awareness Week kicked off on Feb. 25 (Monday) and runs through March 3 (Sunday).
The campaign is designed to enhance awareness about invasive species and encourage reporting of invasive species from what Purdue University entomology professor Cliff Sadof calls “citizen scientists.” This includes people who spend time professionally or recreationally in the outdoors and is interested in learning about invasive species. A major tool in the fight against these species is the Report Invasive website, hosted by Purdue College of Agriculture and the Indiana Invasive Species Council. The website includes several ways that people can report invasive species, including a smartphone app from the Great Lakes Early Detection Network.
“There are not that many specialists and experts covering the state,” Sadof said. “When there are concerned citizens reporting, however, we have many more eyes and a better chance of detecting and eradicating a harmful species early.”
Please report any invasive species you come across including insects, plants, and animals to Report Invasive Species.
For full article see Citizen scientists-report invasive species, Morning AgClips.
New Hope for Fighting Ash Borer, Got Nature? Blog
Mile-a-Minute Invasive Vine Found Indiana, Got Nature? Blog
Sericea Lespedeza: Plague on the Prairie, Got Nature? Blog
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, Purdue Extension The Education Store
Invasive Plant Species in Hardwood Tree Plantations, The Education Store
Invasive Plant Species: Callery Pear, Purdue Extension The Education Store
Invasive Plant Species: Wintercreeper, Purdue Extension The Education Store
Invasive Plant Species Oriental Bittersweet, Purdue Extension The Education Store
Cliff Sadof, Pest Management & Extension Coordinator
The DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology has discovered that a shipment of boxwood plants infected with boxwood blight was shipped to Indiana in May.
This is important because boxwood blight (Calonectria pseudonaviculata) is a fungal disease that infests members of the popular Buxaceae family, and is often transported through the nursery trade. Hosts include Buxus (boxwood), Pachysandra (Japanese spurge) and Sarcococca (sweetbox).
In total, 23 stores in Indiana received infected material in early spring (particularly “Graham Blandy” cultivar), and it’s possible that members of the public inadvertently purchased some plants.
The fungus, which can lay dormant in drier conditions, can be found on all above-ground portions of the plant and presents itself as dark leaf spots. It causes rapid defoliation, which typically starts on the bottom of the plant and moves toward the top. This fungal pathogen can move through sporulation in water and from dropped leaves. As a result, infection can spread to surrounding plants from a single infected plant.
If you suspect one of your plants shows signs and symptoms of boxwood blight, please call (866) NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) use the information at dnr.IN.gov/entomolo.
For more information on this pathogen see the following link extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-203-W.pdf
A DNR inspector found the plants at a national chain home and garden store in early October. The shipment originated at a nursery in Oregon. It was also sent to stores in 11 other states.
Upon confirmation of boxwood blight on these plants by the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab, the DNR required that the chain remove all boxwood from their shelves for disposal and that the stores mitigate the area through disinfection to ensure that the pathogen is no longer present and able to infect further shipments of plants.
The DNR is currently surveying for boxwood blight in Indiana. To date, the DNR has not found the pathogen, except for a few interceptions like this one.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.
Tom Creswell, Clinical Engagement Associate Professor
Purdue Botany and Plant Pathology
Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources