Researchers find new method to fight ticks

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Tick (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Scott Bauer)Tick (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Scott Bauer)

Researchers from the Wageningen University have come up with a promising and environmentally friendly way to combat ticks. Experiments have shown that nematodes, minuscule worms, can kill ticks within 10 days. Ticks have become an increasing problem over the past years because they cause Lyme disease.

"The initial results are promising. With the tests we've done, 60 percent of the ticks are killed" Arnold van Vliet of Wageningen University said to NU. "Beyond pesticides, there is almost nothing we can do against ticks. I think we can therefore call it a break through."

Van Vliet says that the worms can be used in recreational areas such as picnic areas and gardens. "We still have to do a lot of research on how we can best use the worms. They normally live underground. In order to prolong their life span above ground, they are cast in a certain fluid. We must also see how we can best build the liquid. But people can the pour it on their plants in their garden."

The foundation Tekenbeetziekte, or Tick Bite Disease in English, told NU that this is a positive development. "We haven't heard of this method yet. But it would be great if a great method is found. The fewer ticks, the better. It is also nice that it is a natural method. With the use of pesticides there can still be a snag ten years later", a spokesperson for the foundation said.

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