call for volunteers to collect ticks in the gardens for scientific studies

Lorraine scientists will launch a new “TIQUoJARDIN” campaign on May 1, 2022. They are looking for 150 garden owners in and around Nancy for a study on the proliferation of ticks.

The TIQUoJARDIN Participatory Science project is looking for volunteers to collect ticks in the gardens around Nancy. It is carried by HANDLES (National Agency for Food Safety, Environmental Safety and Occupational Health ), INRAE ​​(National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment), the University of Lorraine and the Permanent Center for Environmental Initiatives (CPIE). It will run from May 1 to July 10, 2022.

Laure Bournez, researcher at the ANSES rabies and wildlife laboratory in Nancy, explains: “The aim is to better understand the risks associated with the presence of ticks in private gardens: their abundance, the presence of pathogens they carry and the frequency of bites. This will characterize the profile of the gardens where the ticks are located. identify environmental factors linked to human practices that favor their proliferation.

The first collection in 2021 revealed the presence of ticks in 40% of the participating gardens, with an average of four ticks per garden. This new collection will refine these initial results and determine the characteristics of tiled gardens.

Our hypothesis is that ticks are introduced by wildlife

Laure Bournez, researcher Anses Nancy

The ultimate goal is to propose recommendations on prevention. To achieve this, scientists need to collect a lot of data in the field, hence the use of citizen volunteering: “We do not have quantitative data so we do not know how to assess the level of infestation. Our hypothesis is that ticks are introduced by wildlife. Infested gardens would be closest to environments conducive to their presence, in particular the environment or the existence of green corridors where wildlife can move easily.

Scientists know that in the early stages of the development of ticks, larvae and nymphs are transported by rodents and birds. They aim to determine the extent to which birds can introduce these pests into the urban fabric.

This involves identifying external input factors and factors linked to the gardens themselves such as vegetation types, mowing practices, the presence of compost, pets. A set of factors that allow ticks to survive and bite humans: “To do this, we ask participants to collect ticks and answer a questionnaire to properly characterize their gardens. We will also analyze the environment near the garden: presence of a forest, level of neighboring urbanization, to develop a statistical analysis for identify the factors that will favor the presence of ticks.

Sampling kits are collected by appointment at one of the four landmarks located in Champigneulles, in the INRAE ​​center in Champenoux, in the Anses de Malzéville and in the Jean-Marie Pelt botanical garden in Villers-lès-Nancy.

To do this statistical analysis, scientists need many fields to accumulate enough data to make the study relevant: “Last year we had 73, this year we set the figure at 150.”

This data collection is voluntary. To participate you must meet three requirements:

1- Living within a radius of 30 kilometers around Nancy, so that the weather conditions in the study area are homogeneous

2- Have a garden of at least 100 m2

3- Register on the project site

Ticks are a public health problem because they carry the bacteria responsible, among other pathologies, for Lyme disease. Health authorities are seeing an increase in the incidence of this disease. The aim is also to raise public awareness of the risks associated with ticks, especially in gardens. They are mistaken for a healthy environment because ticks are more present in forest environments.

By participating in this collection, which consists of passing a sheet on the floor, people will be able to observe whether or not there is the presence of ticks and be more alert to the risk. The aim will be to export the result of knowledge and prevention measures to other interested regions.

Leave a Comment