Project Overview 

“Tick INsiders” is a community science project to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases in Indiana. The project seeks to better understand the risks of tick-borne diseases across the state, and improve health care for Indiana residents.

Every Spring and Fall, we sample for three tick species considered vectors of disease – the Lyme disease tick, Ixodes scapularis, the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, and the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum ­– around the state. Ticks are analyzed at Purdue for hundreds of microbes (pathogens and non-pathogens) using a sequencing technique called “MiSeq”. Our goal is to determine the geographic range and the suite of pathogens circulating in Indiana tick populations. We use this information to develop detailed, region-specific disease-risk map.

Every year, we seek highly motivated individuals to help us collect ticks from private properties throughout the State of Indiana. If you have recovered a tick crawling on you or your pet, you are welcome to send it to us for sampling. If you would like to collect ticks from your property, please follow the instructional videos available here. Unfortunately we are unable to accept ticks that have already attached to the skin.

To send ticks to Purdue, please place them inside a ziploc bag, and place the sealed bag into an envelope together with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Email address and/or phone number
  • Location where the tick was collected (City/County or Zip Code)
  • Collection date

Please address the envelope to:

901 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907