Approval of a motion to call on the Federal and Provincial authorities to permit the use of a deer bait system to tackle the Blacklegged tick infestation in Admiral’s Cove Park was granted last night by Halifax Regional Council.
Deer bait systems are being put forward as a way to alleviate the tick population in the Bedford area. The system attracts deer which come to the station to feed and while at the station, a chemical treats them around the neck area, acting much like a flea/tick collar on domestic pets.
“HRM can now pursue more aggressive means to combat the Blacklegged tick infestation,” Bedford Councillor Tim Outhit said. “With the early warm weather, this could be an even bigger problem for the citizens of the Admirals Cove Park area this year. With the threat of Lyme disease that this tick can bring with it, there has to be something else we can do to keep them at bay.”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by a Blacklegged tick. The insect can only transmit the bacteria after it has been attached to the skin (feeding on blood) for at least 24 hours. The disease can be prevented by avoiding Blacklegged tick bites, and it is treatable with antibiotics.
To date, Blacklegged ticks have been found to be established in three areas of the province. In addition to Admiral’s Cove, they have been found in parts of Lunenburg County and in Gunning Cove, Shelburne County. The bacteria that can cause Lyme disease have been found in all three areas.
The provincial government has some advice for residents.
-Avoid tall grasses and shrubby areas, favourite habitats of ticks. Keep lawns mowed regularly.
-Personal protection includes wearing long pants tucked into socks, long sleeve shirts and hats, and repellents containing DEET can be sprayed on outer clothing.
-Careful examination of your person and pets following exposure to potential tick habitats. Use a wide flea comb on your pets following an outing to remove any ticks not yet attached.
-Discourage deer and other wild animals from your yard and home.
For further information visit the province’s Health Promotion and Protection website at: www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/cdpc/zoonotic-diseases.asp.