June 5, 2018

Researchers from Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison along with members of the CDC Regional Centers for Excellence in Vector-Borne diseases are conducting a tick exposure behavioral study. As part of the study they have recently released the Tick App. The website also contains information on tick ID and tick safety. 

From the Tick App website:

What is the study about?

In two words, Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be transmitted to humans after a tick bite. This study is designed to help researchers understand more about how  people’s practices and activities impact their exposure to ticks. This research is being done because Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease (infections transmitted by the bite of infected arthropod species, such as mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, etc) in the United States. The information provided will help researchers design integrated control strategies to prevent diseases transmitted by ticks.

Why is my participation important and how is the app useful to me?

If you live in a high-risk area, sharing your experience and perspective with researchers will help them learn about the risk factors for tick borne disease and design better methods that prevent tick bites and tick-borne disease. 

Also included is information that will help you identify the different tick species, ways to prevent tick exposure and other information that will help you understand more about ticks and the diseases they transmit.

How can you help?

Once you download the app and register for an account, you will be asked to take one enrollment survey that will help us capture your baseline risk of exposure to ticks.

You will then receive a weekly to monthly message to start your tick diary during the high risk months (May to September). The tick diary, or activity report, should take less than a minute to complete. It asks if you or a household member encountered a tick and what you did that day. When you start the tick diary, you will receive a daily reminder until you complete 15 reports.

Also, you can help us by reporting any tick through a quick form built in the app.

If I don’t want to use the app, how can I participate?

You can sign-up on the website and the surveys will be sent to your email. The informational material can also be found in this website

About the App

The Tick App has two interactive features: 1) the Tick Diary and 2) Report-a-Tick sections. By using them, you can help researchers identify risk factors and prevention strategies to reduce people’s exposure to ticks.

You can also look up information on how to remove and identify a tick at any time, and learn more about ticks!

1) Fill in the Tick Diary:

        • Complete it each evening for 15 consecutive days during the high tick season (May-July) and 15 consecutive days during the low tick season (August-September).
        • During the 15-day Tick Diary session we will also record your location and weather information. You can opt-out by changing your settings on your phone.
        • That information will help us better understand how and where are people more at risk of finding ticks and can help learn more about your environment.

    2) Report a Tick:

        • If you find a tick on you, your pet or a household member. Report it here!
        • This way we can record what tick species people are encountering and where.