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Ian Foley
Ian A. Foley, Entomologist with the Department of Agriculture

Ian received a bachelor's degree in biology from North Central College in Naperville, IL and a master's degree in entomology from Montana State University in Bozeman.


Ian has been with the Montana Department of Agriculture as the entomologist since 2008. Ian has collected insects around the world including the countries of Montserrat, Jamaica, Italy, India, Malaysia, Mexico, and Singapore.

Prior to his time with the Montana Department of Agriculture Ian worked for:

  • Illinois Department of Agriculture gypsy moth program
  • USDA-APHIS-PPQ Asian longhorned beetle program
  • USDA-APHIS-PPQ as an officer
  • Missouri Department of Conservation Forest Health
  • US-Forest Service Timber/Forest Health
  • USDA-APHIS-PPQ entomology identifier

How Ian became interested in ticks

Ian's first tick experience occurred while he was backpacking with his family in Porcupine Mountains State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan-nice Lyme disease country. While traveling to a backcountry cabin, Ian and his family stopped for a swim in Lake Superior. While swimming in the frigid waters, Ian's mother noticed a dark object on the back of his shoulder. The object turned out to be a partially engorged tick. Since Ian's mother was concerned about removing the tick without a sharp object and potentially leaving the head and mouthparts lodged under the skin which can cause infection. It was decided to leave the tick imbedded until the family reached the cabin. While hiking Ian's younger siblings enjoyed chatting with Ian's new little skin attached friend. When the family reached the cabin about 6 hours later the tick was fully engorged, but it was easily removed with tweezers
. . .and Ian did not get Lyme disease.