PROJECTS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY

MISIP encourages and supports a multi-dimensional approach to understanding and preventing swimmer's itch.  Among them, control - aimed to quickly reduce the incidents of swimmer's itch in infected lakes; research - to increase our knowledge and allow us to design more effective and more cost effective control programs; education - to increase understanding; and prevention - to explore other methods that reduce a swimmer's chances of getting swimmer's itch.

CONTROL PROGRAMS

Control Programs, utilizing experienced scientists are working to break the life cycle of swimmer's itch and reduce the number of parasites in lake water.  Current control programs involve trapping and removing mergansers, thereby breaking the lifecycle.

Dr. Harvey Blankespoor (Hope College) and Dr. Curtis L. Blankespoor (University of Michigan) hold baby mergansers which have been trapped.  They were relocated to lakes without the snails which are part of the lifecycle of swimmer's itch.  

Dr. Harvey Blankespoor (Hope College) and Dr. Curtis L. Blankespoor (University of Michigan) hold baby mergansers which have been trapped.  They were relocated to lakes without the snails which are part of the lifecycle of swimmer's itch.

 

RESEARCH TO IMPROVE CONTROL and lower costs

Research Programs are aimed at improving existing control measures, increasing knowledge about the swimmer's itch lifecycle and identifying techniques which will allow us to develop long-term, cost effective and sustainable maintenance programs.

Common Mergansers are hosts to the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.  More work needs to be done to understand the factors that can lower the merganser population on lakes in Michigan.

Common Mergansers are hosts to the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.  More work needs to be done to understand the factors that can lower the merganser population on lakes in Michigan.

EDUCATION:  To improve understanding

MISIP holds programs each year which allow participants to learn more about swimmer's itch, hear results of current control programs, find out about new research which can suggest new and more cost effective methodology, hear presentations from experts around the country, and to participate in group discussions.  These programs have been attended by lake associations, riparians, officials from the MDNR, State Senators and Representatives, and many others. Presenters include scientists from around the country, Michigan-based scientists and control experts, and industries interested in developing preventative products.

Ron Reimink, swimmer's itch control expert and researcher, presents information about 2016 swimmer's itch control and research programs at MISIP Conference in June, 2016

Ron Reimink, swimmer's itch control expert and researcher, presents information about 2016 swimmer's itch control and research programs at MISIP Conference in June, 2016

PREVENTION

Preventative Programs, such as creams to reduce penetration of the parasite into the skin are under development.

Research is underway to test lotions and other techniques to prevent swimmers from contracting swimmer's itch

Research is underway to test lotions and other techniques to prevent swimmers from contracting swimmer's itch

IMAGES FROM CONTROL AND RESEARcH ACTIVITIES