WHAT'S ugly, tiny, brown and worth 50cents to $2.50 each?
Give yourself a tick if you answered ... well ... ticks.
Enterprising Gladstone region residents can benefit from a NSW group's bounty on some of the area's most annoying pests.
Vetx Research, a contract veterinary research organisation, will pay 50 cents per common brown tick and $2.50 for paralysis ticks.
And with thousands needed for a study, it won't take much to turn the doggy-irritant into cold hard cash.
Vetx Research entomologist/parasitologist Chrissie Jackson urged dog owners, vets and kennel operators to send the common brown tick to the organisation.
She said paralysis ticks were also in high demand.
She said they could fetch $2.50 each.
Ms Jackson said the ticks must be live, un-engorged and able to reattach to a host.
She said the ticks often infested kennels and houses and could be found on carpets and between rocks, cracks and crevices.
"The (common brown) ticks are oval, reddish brown in colour and have short mouthparts," she said.
Ms Jackson said Vetx Research was keen to establish contact with bounty hunters, especially Central and Far Northern Queensland.
She said ticks were often collected by farmers with a tick problem on their land or as a hobby by people with full-time jobs.
"Pale coloured wool blanket is dragged along the ground over grass, leaves or mulch under trees, especially where bandicoots are plentiful, and turned over frequently to expose the ticks," Ms Jackson said.
"Collectors often bring in several jars at a time and each jar contains around 100 ticks - it can be a very worthwhile venture.
"The female ticks are grey, triangular and have long mouthparts while the smaller brown round males are worthless and not collected."
Ms Jackson said collection tubes could be provided and postage paid for.
Details: email@example.com or 02 6663 7255.