- The season is upon us and as just as we come out of our winter, urban hibernation the ticks are waiting. Brian Kelly
, dedicated tick and mosquito control expert and owner of East End Tick & Mosquito Control
, shared some tips with Hamptons.com on how to protect your family from the tick born diseases that can be so dangerous.
Tick Numbers Up, Lyme Disease To Follow
Due to the unusually mild winter, Kelly expects this season to be the busiest for Lyme-carrying ticks, specifically Deer Ticks as well as the now-prevalent Lone Star Tick. When "flagging" a property to determine if there is evidence of ticks, Kelly generally picks up just a few of the pests. However, he recently discovered 39 ticks in only 15 minutes - a very high number and a sign of what's in store.
In 2010, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention listed New York as a top contender for Lyme disease occurrences. The most heavily affected regions, including Long Island's East End, are home to a tick population with half of all its inhabitants infected.
"With the number of ticks being found, we expect the rate of Lyme Disease cases to rise significantly in 2012," says Kelly. He encourages East Enders to protect themselves, their family and their pets by practicing good property management to reduce the habitats where ticks like to live:
Ten Tips to Tick Ticks Off
1. Reduce leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn and around the house.
2. Cut grass short and regularly.
3. Restrict use of groundcover, such as pachysandra.
4. Remove brush and leaves around stone walls and wood piles.
5. Where mice play, ticks stay: Seal stone walls serving as nesting sites and small openings in the house that are entry points.
7. Rake leaves, as needed.
8. Create a tick-safe zone - a sunny, dry area around the home, swing sets, decks and patios - that is free of brush piles.
9. Use wood chips to help keep the buffer zone free of plants and restrict tick migration.
10. Trim tree branches to let in more sunlight.
What is Lyme disease?
A bacterial infection caused by an infectious tick bite. Early symptoms include a "bull's eye" rash, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and swollen nymph nodes. Untreated infections can lead to serious complications such as arthritis, heart and nervous system disorders, Bell's palsy, miscarriages, stillborn births, and meningitis.
Additionally, the rate of other threatening tick-related illnesses is expected to increase. Ehrliciosis causes flu-like symptoms including headaches, muscle aches, malaise and high fever with untreated cases leading to central nervous system and organ damage, delirium and death. The malaria-like illness, Babesiosis, can also be fatal with symptoms such as fatigue, appetite loss, fever, drenching sweats, muscle pain and headaches.
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Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com