We maintain an active colony of Ixodes scapularis ticks for experimental use. The colony is stocked with ticks collected from local New England forests, and the ticks are bred here in the laboratory. Ticks in all four life stages (egg, larva, nymph, adult) are kept in chambers, where light cycles, temperature, and humidity are carefully monitored and controlled. While the entire tick life cycle typically takes two years to complete, we are able to accelerate this cycle to eight months.
We maintain both uninfected ticks and ticks infected with selected pathogens in the colony. Pathogens include Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Borrelia miyamotoi, and several strains of Borrelia burgdorferi.