Deer Ticks

Ticks are always a concern on the trail so make sure you use bug spray with DEET, tuck your pants into your socks to keep them off your silky smooth legs, and check your body thoroughly when you get home. The black-legged tick (or deer tick, picture above) can carry Lymes Disease, so they’re the ones you really want to make sure aren’t creeping around under your skin. There was an article on the NYTimes Room For Debate Blog earlier this week written by five different professors explaining what we should know about ticks and their environment and the steps we can take to control them. Some interesting viewpoints by the authors are highlighted below:

1) There are more and more ticks each year. This is directly correlated to the fact that there are more and more deers each year. In Rhode Island, each deer produces about 450,000 larval deer ticks every year.

2) Virginia opossums play a prominent role in reducing human health to tick born diseases by grooming the ticks off killing them before they even have a chance to feed.

3) This tick species bites dozens of species of mammals, birds and reptiles — not just deer. And several recent studies in New York and New Jersey have found no connection between populations of deer and ticks. In fact, abundance of black-legged ticks is more closely tied to that of white-footed mice. Ticks feeding on mice survive well and are highly likely to become infected with the Lyme disease bacterium.

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6 Responses to Deer Ticks

  1. Beat the DEET July 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    DEET can have some harmful effects on your health and the environment. While approved by the EPA, DEET has been linked to neurological problems in adults and children. This chemical has also been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources from both production and use.

    Although DEET is relatively non-toxic to small mammals, it is considered toxic to birds and aquatic life. Unfortunately, the production and use of DEET has led to the chemical being found in approximately 75% of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.

    Picaridin and Eucalyptus are effective alternatives. While these more natural options are not quite as long-lasting as DEET, they are proven repellants, and work well if reapplied frequently.

  2. jeffreythrope July 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Dear Bryce, let’s have a beer and list all the ways you are constantly fucking up the environment. Tomorrow night?

  3. Beat the DEET July 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Jeffs, beer is bad for the environment. Ill have locally collected filtered rainwater using my hands as a cup please.

  4. Nachas July 31, 2009 at 5:02 am #

    Yay Virginia opossums, I knew they were good for something

  5. TODD July 31, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    save water, drink beer!!!!!!!

  6. Pastor R.O.Quarles April 10, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    What can I us for keep deer ticts from gettting on me?

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