Shown here are ixodes scapularis, or black-legged deer ticks, at various stages of development. The parasites are known to transmit Lyme disease and other serious illnesses.  

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Missouri conservation officials are asking people to save the ticks they come across while tromping through the woods and toss them in the mail.

The Missouri Department of Conservation and A.T. Still University in Kirksville have partnered in a two-year research study. It begins this month and will conclude in September 2022, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

The goal is to better understand statewide distribution of tick species and the pathogens they carry. Some of the pathogens can make people sick.

“We need the help of many Missourians around the state,” said Matt Combes, MDC Ecological Health Unit Science Supervisor, in a news release. “Participation by many ‘citizen scientists’ is vital in helping us collect enough data at a scale unattainable by MDC and University scientists alone.”

Ticks can be kept alive while they are shipped to the university by being placed in a plastic zip-topped bag with a damp paper towel or cotton ball. Residents also should download a form and fill in where they found the tick.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, Springfield News-Leader.

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