Scientists from The University of Rhode Island need your help in a tick research project. We’re looking for Rhode Islanders who will be doing some form of residential tick control this spring. It could be sprays, granules, or host-targeted control—professionally-applied or Do-it-Yourself. The goal of the project is to determine if the tick control a homeowner does is helping reduce the number of ticks in their yard (Project ITCH—Is Tick Control Helping?). Participation in the study involves completing an on-line survey and giving permission for our research team to visit your yard up to 2 times during late May-June this year (2023).  During our visits we will collect (and remove) ticks from tick habitat areas around your yard.  All ticks will be identified and a sub-sample of collected ticks will be tested for disease-causing germs. We will be happy to share our findings with participating homeowners at the conclusion of our study. Participation will help inform and improve future tickborne disease prevention efforts in the northeast US.

Requirements of the study:

  • Property is greater than 0.75 acres in size, and has an appropriate amount of tick habitat.
  • Property has been treated for ticks this spring with pesticide spray, granules, tick tubes, or rodent-targeted tick control bait boxes.
  • Homeowner gives permission to sample areas of the property up to 2 times during late May-June. Each sampling would likely take 15-20 minutes.
  • You will not be charged for this service but you will not be compensated either.

If you or someone you know wants to find out if their tick control is helping, and they meet the stated research criteria, please click this link to 1) complete the ITCH survey and 2) register your interest in a free yard tick sampling as soon as possible (see section 3 of the survey).

This collaborative research project has been approved by the URI IRB (Approval date 05/05/2023), through a reliance agreement with The University of Massachusetts Institutional Review Board.

We’ll also be looking to sample approximately 40 yards in South County that have not been treated for comparison. If your yard has not been treated please feel free to fill out the survey as well to indicate your interest in participating. While we can’t sample everyone’s yard, the only way to be considered is to complete the survey. Thank you for your interest.