Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Citizen Scientists Needed for Tick Census!

May 20, 2022 11:03AM ● By Laura Durenberger

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic are excited to invite community members to partner with them in a citizen science project.  Krishna Woerheide, Environmental Specialist with Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, is working to determine population densities, the presence of any new tick species in the county, and if there are locations with a concentration of ticks carrying Lyme Disease, Anaplasma, and Babesia.  To do this, she needs samples from all over the Cook County/Grand Portage area.  Community members can help by contributing ticks that they find.

To contribute:

1. On a zip-top plastic bag, write the date and location where the tick was “acquired.”  Latitude/longitude would be ideal, but more general locations are fine.

2. Place the tick(s) into the bag and seal well.

3. Bring to any of the following:

        •  Sawtooth Mountain Clinic atrium - Drop off at the screening station.

        •  Grand Portage Health Services office

        •  Birch Grove Community Center entrance

Ticks will be collected throughout the summer, and information on species types will be compiled.

The second phase of the research will investigate the percentage and locations of infected ticks.  In October, all deer ticks will be sent to the CDC to be tested.   After testing is complete, the overall results of the study will be shared with community members.  In 2021, 226 samples were submitted.  Sixty-one percent (138) of these were wood ticks and 39% (88) were deer ticks.  No Lonestar ticks were found. Testing of the 2021 sample isn't yet complete, but so far, 12 out of 18 of the deer ticks submitted were positive for Anaplasma.

Please note that this research is for environmental purposes only, and results will not be used for medical diagnoses.  If you are bitten by a tick and are concerned about contracting Lyme disease, please make an appointment with your health care provider.  You can do so by calling Sawtooth Mountain Clinic at 218-387-2330.

People that bring in ticks for this project will NOT be notified if that tick tests positive for Lyme disease.  For more information, contact Krishna Woerheide at 218-475-2028 or [email protected] .


To learn about Lyme Disease, check out:  https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/

To learn more about Anaplasmosis, go to:  https://www.cdc.gov/anaplasmosis/index.html

To learn more about Babesiosis, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/babesiosis/


Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here