What will we ask you to do? 

There are two ways to participate in PA Parasite Hunters

(1) Order a kit

Kits contain: 

  • Flea combs

  • Vials with hand sanitizer for specimen storage

  • Ziplock bag

  • Return envelope with postage paid

How to use kits

  • Keds - After field dressing, run the louse comb through the hair of the body of the deer. Keds can't fly, but they move fast! Try to collect keds with your fingers or with forceps without squashing them. You can put them in a plastic bag to start (it is easier to gather them in a bag than a vial) and then kill them in the freezer. Alternatively, you can place the directly in a vial with hand sanitizer.

  • Ticks - Using forceps or tweezers, turn them horizontal to the body of the deer and grab ticks as close to the skin as possible and pull up. There might be many ticks on each deer, and some might be bigger or smaller, so start with one ear and collect as many ticks as will fit in the vial.

  • After field dressing, check your person for ticks and keds. If any are found, place in another vial.

  • Fill out the datasheet and survey.

  • If keds were put in freezer, transfer them to a vial.

  • Pack up datasheet and vials and ship back to Penn State.

(2) Send specimens you catch independently

If you are interested in participating, but do not have time to order a kit before hunting season, we would still appreciate your specimens! 

  • Small plastic bags (like ziplocks), plastic containers, or other storage devices are welcome.

  • Place hand sanitizer (with alcohol) in the container with the specimens that you collect.

  • Follow the instructions as above. If you don't have flea combs or tweezers, specimens may be collected with fingers if the specimens are large enough.