The Tick IPM Working Group organizes and expands the network working to reduce the risk of exposure to infected ticks by collaborating on IPM related activities, exchanging knowledge, and sharing resources effectively.
Federal, state and local governments, Land Grant Universities, non-governmental organizations, and others agree that it is important to control tick populations to reduce tick-borne disease risk. Consequently, there is an urgent need for these participants to collaborate efforts aimed at reducing the burden of tick-borne diseases both on public and private lands. The purpose of the Public Tick IPM Working Group is to create a forum for improving communications, networking and collaboration amongst all interested parties interested in supporting tick IPM. This national group was created in October 2013 with funding provided by the USDA North Central IPM Center.
The Working Group scope includes all IPM strategies including vaccines designed to reduce tick numbers or block the ability of ticks to transmit pathogens, e.g., vaccines designed to prevent infection in mice and other reservoirs to break infection cycles. Vaccines designed to prevent infections in humans or wildlife as a health benefit to individual organisms are outside of the scope. Our geographic focus is the US and Canada.
We identify priorities in the areas of research, management, education, and regulation, and together rank these priorities in order of importance via survey. The ranked list of priorities are shared publicly on our website.
The priorities are intended to guide the activities of the Working Group, and also serve as a resource for others such as grant applicants and funders, who can reference these stakeholder-identified priorities in their RFAs and applications. The priorities are periodically updated as needed, typically on an annual basis. The overarching priorities outlined in the Working Group Charter are:
- Educate Policy Makers about tick-borne disease and public policy options including a national strategy for reducing tick-borne diseases.
- Improve community education on tick ecology, prevention and management by building partnerships with diverse stakeholders about IPM strategies for managing tick-borne diseases and maintaining a safe and healthy environment.
- Increase designated tick-borne diseases funding for research and state and county public health departments for education and surveillance.
- Develop and promote adoption of ITM strategies to reduce risk of exposure to ticks and pathogens and minimize risks associated with the use of acaricides; partner with industry to integrate data-driven ITM solutions.
- Coordinate with the Federal Tick-Borne Disease IPM Workgroup to complement activities and facilitate collaborative initiatives within the working group, especially among academic, government and non-government organizations.