The disadvantage of fine weather is that ticks like it as well. Black mosquitos and mosquitoes can take fun on a day of hiking or gardening, but a single deer park can destroy a whole summer if it transmits Lyme or other serious disease. Fortunately, there is a relatively new tool in the fight against deer horses: mice.
As late as 15 years ago in northern New York it was rare to find a single black leg cross, commonly known as a deer on your person even after a long day outdoors. Now all you have to do is put your foot in the brush to collect a whole set of them on your socks and pants. Technically an invasive species in the northern country, deer slowly moved from the mid-Atlantic and lower New England states. Based on anecdotal reports, there appear to be regional pockets where tigers are less widespread than other places, but they are essentially everywhere in New York now.
Ticks are arachnids, in the same category as spiders, but far more dangerous. The deer is known for transmitting Lyme disease as well as babesiosis, erlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Powassan virus and some other serious diseases. In fact, it is possible for two or more diseases to be transmitted to humans or pets with a single fastener.
Our understanding of fasted disease has changed dramatically in recent years. In July 201
In 2008, the Western Blot test was determined to be 36 percent false, meaning 36 percent of time, a person with Lyme will know that they do not have it. Dr. Zubcevic claims that the false-negative rate may be even higher. Most tick-borne disease specialists recommend that treatment is given on the basis of clinical symptoms, never on blood samples.
A comprehensive 2014 tick study conducted in North New York by Paul Smith's College on behalf of the State Department of Health found that about 50 percent of ticks in our area are infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete bacterium that causes Lyme. This flies in the face of antique (2013) information that suggested that only about 20 percent of deer stings were infected. And researchers have identified two fast-paced microbes (one in 2013, a year 2016) closely related to Borrelia burgdorferi, which can also cause Lyme, or at least one variant of it. Unfortunately, the newly identified pathogens do not appear on Lyme blood samples.
This is not to say we need to panic, but please do it if you want. Let's take action. To avoid ticks is the first business order. Ticks "Quest" at the tips of high grass or brush, waiting to forget about the next hot body brushing past. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you use products containing 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin. Clothes, shoes and equipment like tents can be treated with permethrin. Always follow label instructions!
Hikers, stick to marked trails and never follow a deer trail. Treat your pets regularly with a systemic anti-tick product and / or attachment so they do not bring deer to the home. Talk to your vet about getting your pets vaccinated against Lyme (unfortunately there is no human vaccine at the moment).
Shower and wash thoroughly every evening and then check for ticks. They like hard to see places like the armpits, the lumbar, the scalp and the backs of the knees, so be careful about these areas. If you find a fortress you locked on, CDC recommends that you take it as close to the skin as possible with tweezers and pull straight up until it releases. You may need to pull tight if it has been fed for some time. Do not twist or use heat, petroleum gel or other home remedies to let it go, as this may increase the risk of disease transmission.
While it was once thought that ticks did not transmit Lyme for possibly as long as 72 hours, experts now say that while you definitely have 24 hours beyond it's unknown. Other diseases can be transmitted within a few minutes.
Homeowners can clean brushes, weeds and long grass from the edges of the farms. Ticks like to hide under leaf litter (which is why spraying is not very effective against them), so that a yard perimeter that raked clean can maintain ticks.
Some mentioned mice earlier? Despite their names, deer fields feed on – and infect – many wild critters, especially mice. Deer do not carry Lyme, but they are bull farms that keep flock populations high. In fact, our native and ubiquitous white foot is considered to be the primary vector of Lyme. Each mouse can have between 25 and 100 ticks on it anytime.
It sounds logical then to be a war against mice. The problem is that if you drop or poison mice in your house or farm, all these tigers will let go of looking for another host. Yes, not good. So let's put these mice to work for us.
It seems that giving mice, new beds can be the most effective way to reduce fasting populations around the home. When mice have access to permethrin-treated nesting materials, the mortality rate within that family is very high. Hypothetically, if you were to treat cotton balls, tumble dryers and scrap with permethrin, you could then put the items in cardboard tubes (toilet paper, etc.). These could be left around the property where mice and other rodents would find and use the treated bedding and thereby kill their ticks. Hypothetically.
The catch is that this could be a violation of the state's pesticide laws. Permetrin is labeled for "clothes and tools", the latter has a fairly loose definition. It is unclear. Given the seriousness of the chewed disease threat, I suspect that the State Department for Environmental Protection can one day give an exception to do so. Meanwhile, read the label carefully and decide for yourself – contact DEC if you need help.
Currently, only one product is registered for such use in New York. Really called Damminix, it's a complete mouse bed distribution system, consisting of permetrin-treated tubular cotton balls, which you place around your home, garage, shed, trawl and other likely rodents. It is a small price to pay for a significant reduction in field density.
Early symptoms of Lyme disease vary a lot. Usually they include severe headache, chills, fever, extreme fatigue, joint pain and dizziness. But the first signs may be palpitations or confusion and memory loss, things that once thought arose only in the late stage Lyme. If you have been bitten by a deer tick and have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Please keep your loved ones ticked and have a good summer.