04/07/14 1:21pm
04/07/2014 1:21 PM

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Spring is upon us. And while it may bring beautiful flowers and warmer weather, it also brings those little pests that have been hiding all winter: ticks. There are many solutions to keeping ticks at bay, but most options are associated with harsh chemicals that can be dangerous. Peconic Landing has tips and advice for you to get rid of ticks using a healthier and more environmentally friendly approach.

Darryl Volinski, Director of Environmental Services for Peconic Landing, says Guinea hens are a big hit in residential areas for keeping ticks away. These hens simply wander your yard and eat all the ticks off the ground. It may sound too good to be true, but the Guinea hens are an easy and effective way of keeping your yard tick-free without spraying any dangerous chemicals.

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If you aren’t ready to share your yard with hens and would rather take a different approach, Peconic Landing suggests using an organic tick repellent around walkways and dwellings. Using chemical pesticides might not only dangerous to your pets’ health, but yours and your family’s as well.

“Organic repellent reduces the amount of chemicals going into your groundwater,” said Mr. Volinski. “It also reduces the amount of chemicals that are exposed to your family.” Not only that, but spraying harmful chemicals in the air also pollutes our planet. Organic repellent reduces pollution and is a more environmentally friendly option.

Other options for keeping ticks away this spring include simple tasks like removing tall grass from your yard, especially around walking paths. Ticks like to hide in this type of grass and keeping it short will help prevent that.

Another idea is to recruit the use of mice through cardboard cylinders. “Mice take cotton from these cylinders to their nest that is covered with [organic] tick repellent,” said Mr. Volinski. “This keeps ticks away and doesn’t hurt the rodents.”

Peconic Landing strongly suggests you attempt these steps for getting rid of ticks this season, rather than using chemicals and pesticides.

“We want to encourage each one of our neighbors to be proactive for their family’s safety,” said Laurelle Cassone, Director of Sales at Peconic Landing.“And also to be proactive in taking care of our planet.”

Shoreline facing south

11/14/13 2:32pm
11/14/2013 2:32 PM

DANIEL GILREIN COURTESY PHOTO | A blacklegged tick, otherwise known as the deer tick.

In an attempt to further educate the public on Southold Town’s battle against an escalating deer population, the East Marion Community Association is presenting a public forum on tick borne diseases this weekend.

In September, Southold Town hosted a deer forum outlining the many dangers of overpopulation on the North Fork. One of the most starling dangers was the rise in tick borne illness, according to Supervisor Scott Russell.

“The deer infestation on the North Fork is on of the biggest public health crises we have,” Mr. Russell said. “I’m not sure if everyone understands that on the state level and other branches of government. It’s one of the biggest single health crises we have because of tick borne illness. Ticks present a problem in their own right, but deer are excellent hosts. They are able to move the ticks and disease through out the entire community. Thrombosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease; these are big health risks and I think they are far more widespread than other agencies might think.“

Estimates reported this past summer suggest that the number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease nationwide is roughly 10 times higher than the yearly reported number, due to misdiagnoses and unreported illnesses.

This Saturday’s seminar will feature Dr. Rajeev Fernando, an infectious disease specialist from Southampton Hospital, who will discuss tick-borne diseases prevalent on the North Fork.

Gerald T. Simons, author of the “From the Expert” series in the Lyme Times, will also be on hand to provide information gathered by The Tick Borne Disease Alliance.

The forum is Saturday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m. at the East Marion Fire house. The event is free and opened to the public.