Ag lab ticked off at bugs – Scientists working to find pesticide effective against Lyme carriers

The Peoria team has shown that the natural product (nootkatone) kills ticks but researchers are challenged to come up with a formulation that doesn’t harm plant life.

Excerpted from  ( Posted: 02/28/2011 ) 

Scientists at Peoria’s ag lab are working to do something about ticks.

The little critters that wait on low-hanging limbs or shrubs to suck the blood of passersby aren’t just a nuisance for dogs.

Twenty-nine thousand cases of Lyme disease, contracted through tick bites, were reported in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Left untreated, Lyme disease can affect the joints, heart and nervous system.

Of the hundreds of different tick species, the one that spreads the disease, the blacklegged tick, is the focus of the study.

Robert Behle and Lina Flor-Weiler of Peoria’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research are working with researchers in Connecticut to come up with a bio-based pesticide to solve the tick problem. “(USDA entomologist) Kirby Stafford in Connecticut contacted me about working on the project,” said Behle.

The Peoria team’s research has focused on a natural product called nootkatone, a substance often used as a fragrance. “People say it smells like grapefruit,” said Behle.

For the complete article:


~ by Rob on March 1, 2011.

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