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University Relations

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July 14, 2006
Contact: Brandis Griffith, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

Ticked off? KU experts offer advice on keeping insects away

LAWRENCE — Now is the time of year when Kansas hikers and nature lovers may notice small ticks making their seasonal appearance, says University of Kansas tick expert Gregory Burg. Adult ticks are declining in population, but smaller ticks, called seed ticks, are coming out of hiding, he said.

Burg is just one of several insect experts at KU. Below is a list of faculty members available to offer advice and answer questions.

Tips for tick prevention:

— Avoid tick-infested areas when possible. When in tick-infested areas, avoid contact with vegetation.
— Wear light colored clothing to better detect ticks.
— Tuck pants legs into socks to keep ticks from crawling up the pants legs.
— Use repellents containing permethrin, which can be sprayed on boots and clothing. Repellents containing DEET can be applied to skin.
— Conduct a body check when returning from potentially tick-infested areas.
— Remove ticks with tweezers, not hands.

Bug experts:

Gregory Burg, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology
Expertise: ticks
Contact: (785) 864-4143

*Zack Falin, collection manager at the Natural History Museum
Expertise: world’s beetles and Kansas insects
Contact: (785) 864-3034

Donald Huggins, senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey
Paul Liechti, assistant director at the Kansas Biological Survey
Expertise: mayflies, dragonflies, stoneflies and caddis flies
Huggins contact: (785) 864-1548
Liechti contact: (785) 864-1527

Charles Michener, curator emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology
Expertise: bees
Contact: (785) 864-4610

*A. Townsend Peterson, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and curator at the Natural History Musuem
Expertise: birds and West Nile virus
Contact: (785) 864-3926

Deborah Smith, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology
Expertise: brown recluse spiders and honeybees
Contact: (785) 864-4340

* Some experts not available until the start of the fall semester.

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