MV Tick Program

The Martha’s Vineyard Tick-borne Illness Reduction Initiative (aka the Tick Program) is dedicated to reducing the number of ticks and tick-borne illnesses on Martha’s Vineyard through education, advocacy and cooperation with other organizations and individuals.


Tick yard surveys:  From mid-May through the end of July Tick Program staff will visit your yard, complete an assessment of potential tick habitat, check the yard for ticks and discuss ways you can reduce the number of ticks and the chance of being bitten.  We request a minimum $50.00 contribution for each survey, however we will do the survey for free if the contribution is an issue.  If you would like to have a tick survey next spring, please complete a Request for Tick Yard Survey
Hunting on Private Property: We work with private landowners to connect them with responsible hunters to reduce deer populations Island-wide by targeting residential areas, a preferred habitat of our deer population. Find out more information and register here.
Community Deer Cooler / Venison Donation Project: We are working on an annual program with Island Grown Initiative (IGI) and the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society (MVAS) to increase the number of deer culled during bow and shotgun season on the Vineyard. The program includes a Community Deer Cooler that allows registered hunters to hang deer for up to 10 days (per deer) and IGI’s Venison Donation Program that provides high-quality, protein-rich meals to Islanders in need. For more information, please visit here.
Public Presentations: Tick Program staff do frequent public presentations throughout the year, focusing on ways to minimize the risk of tick-borne illnesses to you, your family and your pets.  We also cover the latest research on ticks, including data on the location and frequency of our three common ticks collected during the yard surveys.  If you would like to receive email notifications of our public presentation please contact Richard Johnson.
Private Small Group Presentation:  We also do presentation by request for Road and Homeowner Associations, civic groups and small groups of concerned individuals.  These presentations are shorter and can be customized to meet the interests of the group.  If you would like to request a small group presentation please contact Richard Johnson.
Media Coverage:  We are lucky to have two local newspapers and a local radio station that focus on issues important to our community.  Dick Johnson is a frequent guest on WMVY’s Vineyard Current, Laurel Reddington’s Sunday morning …. Show.   Both the Vineyard Gazette and the MV Times have publish frequent news stories on ticks and tick-related issues.  Dick Johnson has also published several articles on the Gazette OpEd page, including Why We Should Focus on Reducing Deer and not Mice, Methods and Costs of Reducing Ticks and Deer (rename) and Lone Star Tick Larvae .
In partnership with:
  • Martha’s Vineyard Hunters
  • Island Grown Initiative
  • Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society
  • Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife
  • Board of Selectman, 6 Island Towns