Tick, tick, tick: Alaska braces for invading parasites

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska health and wildlife officials are taking steps to track undesirable parasites showing up in the state.

Researchers plan field work this summer to sample non-native ticks that could gain a foothold because of the warming climate.

University of Alaska Anchorage assistant professor Micah Hahn says non-native ticks can carry and transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever other diseases.

She says it’s important to establish what ticks are in the state so officials can monitor changes as the environment changes.

A grant awarded last year will help sample ticks and prepare a model to forecast where ticks could thrive.

Researchers are encouraging Alaskans to collect and turn over ticks at Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices as part of a new “Submit-a-Tick” program.

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