News

Collaboration on Tick Control at the Federal Level

Federal Initiative: Tick-Borne Disease Integrated Pest Management White Paper

A federal workgroup led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a document titled Federal Initiative: Tick-Borne Disease Integrated Pest Management White Paper. This white paper outlines a strategic plan for collaboration between fourteen federal agencies and identifies the steps that need to be taken
in order to develop evidenced based policies for a tick integrated pest management program.

This workgroup will:

  • Collect, share, organize, and integrate information on bestEPA practices, including communications tools and resources, related to Integrated Pest Management of ticks and tick-borne diseases.
  • Identify and prioritize research gaps and needs.
  • Share agency-specific strategic plans relating to the control of ticks and the pathogens they may transmit.
  • Develop white papers and a strategy for tick IPM and prevention of TBD and consensus documents that can be shared across US federal agencies for the purposes of improving and coordinating IPM programs and activities.

According to the white paper, the numbers of tick-borne diseases have been increasing in the United States over the last decade. This is thought to be associated with:

  • Reforestation and changing land use patterns
  • Overabundant deer populations
  • Expansion of suburbia into wooded areas
  • Improvements in diagnosis and surveillance and reporting practices

Wisconsin is the tick hotspot of the Midwest, but there has been an increase in tick-borne disease across all Midwestern states.  Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan are considered to be at moderate risk of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness in the United States. It is very important for Midwesterners to understand the risks associated with tick bites, and the best ways to avoid them. Be sure to take measures to protect yourself this tick season.

Visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website for information about prevention and control of common ticks.