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Maine-developed app identifies tick species

An uncle and nephew team from the midcoast develops an app that uses photo recognition software to identify tick species.

BELFAST (NEWS CENTER Maine) - Dan Ladd of Belfast came up with the idea for "What's My Tick" while on a particularly tick-infested hike. He wanted to make an easy-to-use app that would identify tick species and tell users how dangerous each species is.

The idea was only that -- an idea -- until Ladd was able to find someone to develop the app software. He asked around to some app developers but was turned down because of the lack of profit potential in the educational app market. It wasn't until a family gathering that he learned his nephew, Ryan Bilodeau, had started developing apps in his free time.

"I thought it was a great idea," said Bilodeau. "I was happy to help because I love making apps and I also knew how big of a problem ticks had become in Maine and in other parts of the country."

To use the app, users simply upload a picture. By looking at the tick's shield and coloration, the app recognizes the species. Then, it provides you with information about the species of tick, including how potentially dangerous a bite could be to your health.

Ladd and Bilodeau hope that the app keeps outdoorsmen safe. Ladd says, "It's pretty thankless to develop apps in the educational field as opposed to gaming apps, that make a lot of money, but we were more interested in trying to help people."

The app can be found in the Apple App Store. It is currently only compatible with iPhones. It costs $1.99.

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