Ticks were once rare in Western Maryland, but the disease-carrying arachnids are on the rise in the region. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Frostburg State University are working together on an initiative to study the rising prevalence of ticks and Lyme disease in western Maryland. Rebekah Taylor, associate professor and chairwoman for the biology department at Frostburg State University, said ticks were not a concern in Western Maryland when she was growing up there. But things have changed. She started studying ticks after her son contracted Lyme disease. “I wanted to look into what’s happening in my hometown,” Taylor said while presenting the project at a Tick Talk event Oct. 18 as part of DNR Science Week. “We should talk to people about ticks now because they’re here.” As part of a citizen science effort, Taylor and Sarah Milbourne, acting western region manager for Maryland Park Service, are asking residents of the region to mail in ticks that they find by taping them onto specially designed postcards. The residents write the date and approximate location where the tick was found on the postcard, and Taylor and her research students identify the ticks and test them for Lyme disease. […]
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