Tick towns: Researchers target neighborhoods in Lyme effort


Red Hook, N.Y. – maybe it will take a village to fight against Lyme disease. Or a group of them.

With a bountiful crop of possible minor ticks this season, researchers part of the Hudson Valley in Lyme are facing problems in tick region entire neighborhoods with fungal sprays and bait boxes.

The five-year project of $ 8.8 million is to determine whether treatment of 24 districts in Dutchess County in search of ticks, also known as deer ticks, can significantly reduce cases of Lyme disease and other diseases transmitted by Ticks

“We want to do a better job and eliminate the threat of neighborhoods, places where people are actually exposed to infected ticks,” said Richard Ostfeld, a Cary Ecosystem Ecosystems Institute in Millbrook, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north Of New York City.

Dutchess County is a mosaic of forests, rolling agricultural fields and dense residential developments that have long been a starter of Lyme disease. Checks Checks are a common late routine late as well as inspections for redness, rashes associated with tick bites.

People spray insect repellent ticks, treat their clothing with insecticide and even vaporize their strokes. But Ostfeld points out that the individual spraying lawn was not effective against Lyme disease.

Tick ​​The project consists of more than 900 families in neighborhoods that comprise about 30 to 50 participants. The sites are treated in the spring and early summer with a fungicidal spray that kills ticks

. The researchers also deployed bait boxes to attract rodents. Insecticide in the picture kills all ticks in mice and squirrels, two animals largely responsible for infecting ticks with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Researchers check families every two weeks in the season to see if anyone in the house, including cats and dogs, got them into the period.

The tick project is funded primarily by a $ 5 million grant from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, created by the hedge fund manager and his wife. Ostfeld said that 2,021 is reserved for data analysis, which is believed to have an idea of ​​the first results in a year.

Ostfeld did not disclose the areas in question or those involved, citing the need for privacy and maintaining good relationships with participants.

Edward Blundell, the mayor of the town of Red Hook, mentioned in an interview that they agreed to participate in the study. Although he knew he could take personal action to protect himself from Lyme disease, he would be satisfied if anything came out of the investigation.

“That scientists look at this and give them a mini lab site here, so we feel our yard could be the mini-site,” Blundell said.

Tick ​​researchers reveal that these studies throughout the region are complex and difficult to make. They are expensive. It can be difficult to obtain all the necessary authorizations.

And changes in tick densities in the study areas can make science difficult. Thomas Mather, director of the Ticketing Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island, said running a well-designed study large enough to produce valid results is a “holy grail” for tick researchers.

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