I-TICK (Illinois Tick Inventory Collaboration networK) is a surveillance program to gather information about ticks of public health concern in Illinois. The purpose is to develop a network of volunteers to collect data to help our lab determine the risk of tick-borne disease based on where and when ticks occur.

There are two ways to take part in I-TICK: freezing a tick in alcohol, recording location and date, and eventually mailing us the data when our campus opens, or collect and submit all data using a smart phone or web app. Participants are free to choose one (or both) methods.

  1.  To use the Tick App
    • Download the free Tick App in Google Play or App Store, more info at www.thetickapp.org
    • Read the consent form, create an account and complete the enrollment survey.
    • Complete a daily log of outdoor activities, tick protection methods used and tick encounters.
    • Found a tick? Take a picture, and submit it in a daily log or tick report. Entomologists will identify the tick (if at all possible) and return that information to you
  2.  Collect a tick and store in your freezer until we are able to accept ticks through the mail
    • Place tick on a paper towel wet, but not ‘dripping’, with rubbing alcohol into a ziploc plastic bag.
    • On a piece of paper, record the date you found the tick, the location (at least the county) where you believe the tick came from, and if you traveled outside your county within the last 10 days
    • Please consider including your name and email on the paper. Your information is completely protected – we will only email you if we have a question.
    • Place the bag with the tick and the paper with data you recorded into a second ziploc and place in the freezer. Alcohol and freezing will kill the tick and the alcohol will eventually evaporate.
    • Be sure both ziploc bags are completely sealed.
    • As soon as we are able we will contact you with instructions on sending us those ticks.
    • Please note: This method does NOT provide tick species identification (the Tick App does)

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