Urban Tick Surveillance
One of the most effective methods of active tick surveillance is tick dragging, pictured below, where you physically drag a weighted cloth on the ground and then check it for ticks. Historically, tick surveillance has most commonly been conducted in rural settings, not where people are most likely to come into contact with ticks. Results from rural tick surveillance help understand the types and prevalence of ticks by region. Urban tick surveillance is a newer approach that focuses on where people could come into contact with ticks. Since 2019, faculty and students at the University of Lynchburg have been conducting urban tick surveillance in yards, parks, trails, and the perimeters of practice sports fields and playgrounds.
An alarming number of ticks were found in Central Virginia, where people are likely to live and recreate. Results led to a partnership with the Lynchburg Parks & Recreation Department to install tick warning and education signs on kiosks and trailheads (pictured below).
Results have aligned with the Virginia Department of Public Health's most current tick stages by the time of year chart (pictured below).