TECH TUESDAY: MSU professor creates app to avoid ticks

Tech Tuesday

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — One Michigan State University associate professor wants to help you avoid ticks this season.

Jean Tsao is behind an app that helps locate and report ticks in your community. It features many tips about tick prevention for people and pets, such as stick to the trail when you’re on a hike and use EPA registered repellants. Be sure to check yourself, your pets and your fear and shoes as well.

“In East Lansing the past few years the ticks have been increasing,” Tsao said.

In addition, there are tick removal steps and a way for you to report them. The information from the ticks is used for research, but also to warn other Michiganders.

“There may be a population there so maybe we should further emphasize to the local public health department as well as the citizens there that maybe you should watch out for ticks, these particular ticks,” Tsao said.

If you find a tick, just open the app, answer a few short questions and snap a picture.

“And then a graduate student, post doc, someone whose very knowledgeable about ticks will then identify that tic as long as the picture is clear and send that information back to you within a day or two,” Tsao said.

Tsao said never flush or kill a tick that has just latched on, just in case.

“Save the tick, always save the tick,” Tsao said.

Tsao recommends taping it to an index card and then writing down the date and where you found it. This information can be useful if you think you or your pet have Lyme disease.

“If you do feel sick and you go see a physician and you can tell them that it for sure was a black legged tick or a dog tick and then they can think about what possible pathogens and what then the course of treatment might be,” Tsao said.

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