Upstate tick testing lab resumes, researchers warn this tick season will be long and tough

Local News

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — Upstate Medical University’s Citizen Science Tick testing program resumes June 1.

In 2019, the program collected 1,921 tick samples from July through October, which amounts to about 70 ticks a day. Upstate Professor Saravanan Thangamani, Ph.D., is studying the expansion of ticks and tick-borne disease in New York. He says this year will be worse.

“This warm winter is a perfect recipe for a long tick season because the ticks come out earlier. We’ve received almost 350 ticks during January, February and March, that’s unusual because that’s the wintertime,” said Thangamani.

Results of testing in 2019 found more than 26% of the ticks submitted by the public carried Lyme Disease, and 32% of the total ticks collected carried some sort of disease.

Last year’s research gave scientists a baseline but this year they’ll be able to zero in further. “We are now able to exactly identify what I would call quote on quote hot zones,” said Thangamani.

The research helps scientists, doctors, and helps the rest of us know if our backyards are a tick haven.

If you find a tick, head to the lab’s website for detailed instructions of how to send in your tick.


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