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Tick-killing fungus may help curb Lyme disease

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Tick-killing fungus may help curb Lyme disease

The next big weapon in the war on ticks may be a fungus that Connecticut scientists have been looking into for a decade.

Its commercial name is Tick-Ex. It’s being touted as the organic answer to curbing Lyme disease.

“It’s a living organism, produced in vats,” said state entomologist Kirby C. Stafford III. “There’s a big demand from organic land care practitioners to have an alternative to synthetic pesticides.”

Novozymes Biologicals, a company in Virginia, recently gained approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to sell a spray version of the fungus nationwide. It plans to have Tick-Ex on the market by 2014.

“It’s taken a lot longer than we thought,” Stafford said. “I keep getting calls asking, ‘Is it out yet? Is it out yet?’”

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