Fungus kills Lyme disease-carrying ticks
Excerpted from NewsTimes.com ( Posted: 03/03/2012)
Local scientists have found a way to control the ticks responsible for passing Lyme disease on to humans. A new natural pesticide, derived from a strain of fungus that is deadly to the black-legged tick could help keep tick populations under control.
Unlike synthetic pesticides that can be dangerous for more than just ticks, the fungus does not harm honeybees, earthworms, and other beneficial insects.
The product was developed by a Fairfield-based company that was bought out by the Danish industrial biotechnology company Novozymes.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station‘s field trials of the fungus helped obtain federal Environmental Protection Agency registration. Novozymes has built a plant in Canada to mass produce the product, Tick-Ex.
It will be commercially available in 2014, said Kirby Stafford, the station’s vice director and chief entomologist.