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  • Taskscape Associates

Monitoring Internet Searches for "Ticks" Across Europe

New project supported publication tracks tick spread via search trends...

Graphic | © Taskscape

We are excited to announce the publication of a fascinating new FRAMEwork study co authored by Finn Danielsen from consortium partner NORDECO.

The research, titled "Monitoring Temporal Trends in Internet Searches for ‘Ticks’ Across Europe by Google Trends: Tick–Human Interaction or General Interest?", investigates whether Internet searches for ticks can serve as a low-cost, real-time monitoring tool for tracking tick-human interactions. 

By analyzing Google Trends data from nine European countries over several years, the researchers aimed to determine if search frequencies correlate with actual tick encounters influenced by local weather conditions.

Key Insights:

  • Seasonal Variation: The study found that search frequencies for ticks reflect expected seasonal patterns, suggesting a link to actual tick encounters rather than mere general interest.

  • Search Term Preferences: Variability in search term preferences over time highlights the need for careful consideration when using such data for monitoring purposes.

  • Weather Correlation: Monthly search frequencies showed significant correlation with local temperature and precipitation patterns, indicating that Internet search data could provide valuable insights into tick activity.

The researchers noted limitations in using search data due to changing search term preferences and potential inaccuracies in search behavior. They recommend further in-depth analysis by experts familiar with local languages and search behaviors to enhance the reliability of this approach.

For more details, you can read the full paper here.

Insects  is an international, peer-reviewed open access journal of entomology published by MDPI online monthly. It publishes reviews, research papers and communications related to the biology, physiology, behavior and management of arthropods as well as their interactions with human societies, plants, and ecosystem services.


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