Tiny Predators: Facing Cape Cod's Tick Problem

In this original 5-part series, Sean Corcoran examines the ecology of the tick: how it survives, how it travels, how it gets under our skin.

There's growing awareness about the dangers of Lyme disease, as it and other tick-borne illnesses become more common. Disagreements about treatment and diagnosis are important and well-documented. But in the fight against Lyme, it's crucial to know where the pathogen lives when it's not inside us, and how it makes its way under our skin.

In our series, "Tiny Predators: Facing Cape Cod's Tick Problem" WCAI reports on researchers' newest understanding of tick ecology -- how they travel, how they live, and how they survive — as well as some of the innovations available in the fight against the tick.

Tick Control

Aug 17, 2012

Ticks — and tick-borne diseases — have become a part of life on the Cape and Islands, and across the Northeast. To address the problem and fill a need, private companies are creating new products designed to help keep ticks off us so we can avoid their dangerous bites. At the same time, researchers are developing and testing innovative ways to reduce tick populations and take the fight directly to the tick.

Part 5 of 5

Lyme Epicenter

Aug 16, 2012

For decades, Massachusetts has held the unfortunate distinction of having some of the highest rates of Lyme Disease in the country. And Cape Cod and the Islands is at the epicenter of the problem. In the fourth installment of our series, WCAI's Sean Corcoran reports on the debate surrounding treatment and diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Part 4 of 5

The Things They Carry

Aug 15, 2012

Lyme disease has persisted on the Cape and Islands for decades. But in recent years other tick-borne diseases have taken hold, too. In the third installment of our series, Sean Corcoran reports on the remarkable increase in tick-borne infections, and what could be happening in the ecosystem to account for it.

Part 3 of 5

On the Move

Aug 14, 2012
James Gathany, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The ticks are out in Wellfleet this year. At the Sven Bed and Breakfast, innkeeper Alexandra Grabbe says that collectively, her and her husband have been bitten five times.

"I've seen them on laundry that I've washed because we line dry the sheets," she said. "Just the other day, in a room where a child had been sleeping, I found a tick on his sheet and immediately contacted his parents and said, 'You need to keep an eye out in case he was bitten.' They're like indestructible. They're horrible."

Part 2 of 5

It Takes an Ecosystem

Aug 13, 2012

In the first installment of our series, Sean Corcoran reports on researchers' newest understanding of tick ecology -- how they travel, how they live, and how they survive.

Part 1 of 5