UMaine Researchers Seek To Protect Forest Workers From Ticks

Jul 20, 2018

A team of researchers at the University of Maine has been awarded more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to try to help protect forest workers from tick-borne diseases, such as lyme disease.

UMaine School of Forestry Resources Professor Jessica Leahy says the money will be used to study land management practices that in turn affect forest conditions conducive to higher tick populations.

“They've discovered that there's higher tick populations in areas where there are invasive plants because that keeps the forest floor more moist, and then we also know that forest landscapes that are fragmented, that have been parcelized and have a broken up, maybe lots of edge, that that's also related.”

Leahy says forest management practices that don't promote large populations of small mammals or large concentrations of deer may also help prevent the spread of tick-borne disease.

Leahy says the three year project will include research, outreach and education.