Tackling Ticks That Spread Lyme Disease

image_pdfimage_print

If just thinking about ticks makes you squeamish, then you’ll want to stay away from Dolores Hill’s lab in Beltsville, Maryland. There, in tiny glass vials and Styrofoam containers, Hill keeps several hundred blacklegged deer ticks, scientifically known as Ixodes scapularis.

A parasitologist for USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Hill collects the blood-sucking ticks as part of a 5-year project to biologically control the pests with microscopic roundworms, called nematodes.