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ARS Home » Animal Production and Protection » Research » Research Project #427322

Research Project: Collaboration on Tick Integrated Pest Management

Location: Animal Production and Protection

Project Number: 0208-32000-001-73-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 14, 2014
End Date: Jul 13, 2019

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to enhance working relationships on tick Integrated Pest Management (IPM) between the following three federal agencies: 1) US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Pesticide Programs, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division , 2) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service, National Program 104, and 3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Bacterial Diseases Branch. This MOU provides a mechanism for coordinating, expanding, and implementing joint research in areas of common interest, a structure for exchanging information, and a mechanism for related activities. This MOU is between the designated units within EPA, USDA and CDC as leading scientific organizations with major scientific and technical capabilities. The agencies share a common and fundamental interest in advancing and disseminating scientific knowledge and in coordinating efforts. The areas of special interest include, but are not limited to: 1) collaboration between USDA, EPA, and CDC on area-wide tick IPM projects to determine key factors affecting the rate of Lyme disease transmission; 2) evaluating data to identify and develop effective tick IPM tools; 3) developing a community of practice implementation strategy to reduce exposure to ticks; and 4) working with federal and private-sector entities to implement a community of practice approach to reduce exposure to ticks that may carry disease causing pathogens. This MOU will promote intellectual exchange to advance research, education and outreach on a range of scientific topics including, but not limited to, human health protection and the development and promotion of tools to control tick populations to reduce the risk from tick-borne diseases.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to managing ticks thereby reducing the risk of tick-borne diseases. An effective tick IPM plan involves: 1) identifying and monitoring tick species, 2) identifying and promoting effective tick prevention tools, 3) setting action thresholds, and 4) controlling tick populations to reduce risks. EPA is working collaboratively with local, state, federal agencies as well as universities and non-profit organizations to determine appropriate action thresholds and identify critical tick surveillance (monitoring) research needs. USDA is working with fellow researchers within the federal sector, academia, local, and state agencies in developing a research action plan to determine the most effective tick IPM tools. The research findings will support recommendations EPA, CDC, and USDA use to support a community of practice approach. CDC is working both in identifying effective Tick IPM tools to control ticks as well as effective outreach mechanisms working with the public. Human behavior considerations are also included in this assessment. All three federal partners, EPA, USDA, and CDC, EPA work with local, state, and federal government and the public to identify and promote implementation of effective IPM-based tools to control tick populations.