Allegany County Cornell Cooperative Extension announces “Tick Blitz”

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Learn about newly invasive tick species, collect ticks for analysis

From Allegany County Cornell Cooperative Extension,

CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION (CCE) and NEW YORK FOREST OWNERS ASSOCIATION (NYFOA) TEAM UP TO STUDY TICKS IN CATTARAUGUS AND CHAUTAUQUA COUNTIES.

Ellicottville, NY – May 14, 2024 This Spring volunteers representing NYFOA, Allegheny Foothills Chapter (AFC) and Master Gardener Volunteers from CCE Cattaraugus/Chautauqua will team up to get the word out about the New York State Tick Blitz and to collect tick specimens from our region for identification and testing.

The NYS Tick Blitz is a community-engaged project that works with volunteer participants to help determine the presence and distribution of newly invasive tick species. The project is a partnership between Cornell University Department of Entomology, the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEVBD) program and the NYS Integrated Pest Management Program.  The goal of the NYS Tick Blitz is to understand the presence and range expansion of two invasive tick species that are not monitored through the NYS Department of Health’s extensive monitoring program. These two tick species are the Asian Longhorned Tick, Haemophysalis longicornis, and the Lone Star Tick, Amblyomma americanum. More information on these species can be found on the NEVBD website: Ticks of the Northeast – NEVBD (neregionalvectorcenter.com)

It’s a great educational opportunity for volunteers. It’s free to participate, training will be offered, and participants will learn about tick habitat, tick bite prevention, and get hands-on experience in entomological research. 

How does the Tick Blitz work?  Volunteers will be trained to collect ticks properly and safely in their community.  Ticks will be collected during the Tick Blitz and the specimens will be mailed to Cornell University where they will be identified by a team of entomologists and results will be made available through a public website and shared with volunteers. 

Training will take place in person and virtually in early June.  CCE Cattaraugus is hosting in person training on June 4th from 12pm to 1:30pm in Ellicottville. You can register to participate before May 24th through the Tick Blitz registration:  bit.ly/2024TickBlitz  

Additional virtual training will be held on June 6th from 12pm to 1pm which will be recorded so more can watch and participate in the Tick Blitz Events. 

Dick Brennan, NFOA Member and Master Forest Owner says, “NY Tick Blitz provides important information on tick identification and management for anyone who is active in the outdoors including Master Forest Owner (MFO) volunteers and woodland owners. Participation in the program also provides the opportunity to gather needed information and brings a sense of satisfaction in serving your community. It’s well worth the effort.”

Tick Blitz is being expanded this year to include Western NY.  Track the history of Tick Blitz: TickBlitzMap_071723 (arcgis.com)

The Cornell Cooperative Extension educational system in Cattaraugus County enables people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work.

CCE Cattaraugus is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

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