Because the Blacklegged Tick is present in this area, it is important to alert you to a new tool being examined by the Government of Canada and the Halifax Regional Municipality as one way to help mitigate the numbers.
A research study – the first of its kind in Canada – was launched this fall to help reduce the risk of Lyme disease. Deer Treatment Systems have been set up using pesticides to kill Blacklegged Ticks on white-tailed deer in the areas of Bedford (Admiral’s Cove Park/Magazine Hill) and Lunenburg.
The project will help determine if the systems are economical and efficient and be in place when ticks are active – early October to mid-December/ late March through to end of June.
The systems hold a central bin containing corn. Surrounding the bin are four posts similar to paint rollers treated with the pesticide Permethrin. The deer are attracted to the corn and come to feed from the systems. To reach the feed they must come into contact with the rollers that apply Permethrin to the deer’s head and neck area. While the pesticide is not toxic to humans and does not pose a health risk, cat owners are urged to keep their cats away from the stations.
What you can do to protect yourself and your family?
Before using the park:
– Apply insect repellent (always follow manufacturers’ instructions).
– Cover as much of your skin as possible by wearing long pants, enclosed footwear, by tucking your shirt into your pants and pant legs into your socks.
– Wear light-coloured clothes (tight weave) to see ticks more easily.
– Walk on well-travelled paths away from high grass and other vegetation.
– Check yourself, your children, and your pets after walking in grassy or wooded areas. Remove ticks as soon as you find them.
The Blacklegged Tick is the only species of tick to carry Lyme disease. It must have been attached to the skin for at least 24 hours to transmit the bacteria.
There is no way to eradicate the tick but all levels of government continue to work together to help mitigate numbers and control the spread of Lyme disease.
For more information on Lyme disease, visit www.phac-aspc.gc.ca or call your local Public Health Services office at 481-5800.