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Tick infestation: Researchers find hundreds in the homes of the islanders, thousands in parks



STATEN ISLAND – Armed with a clipboard, a questionnaire and a giant linen cloth, four Columbia University employees head to Poillon Avenue, Annadale, surrounded by Blue Heron Park.

The team traveled from Queens and New Jersey to Staten Island

Why?

Because they want to get to the bottom of the reason for the strong increase in Lyme disease and the ticks on the island.

Following a Tick Sweep Carried out by Researchers Last Summer As all the parks in the districts had ticks that were infected with the Lyme disease bacteria, they helped launch a tick app and decided to come to the district this summer to do more fieldwork.

From 2012 to 2016, Staten Island rose by 250 percent in cases of Lyme disease ̵

1; the sharpest jump in the disease of the five districts in the last five years, according to Advance data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

" DRYING FOR TICKS"

G From house to house, the team asked the island owners about their living conditions and how to look after their lawns. Next, they go into their garden and begin to "tug on ticks" – a process in which a long linen cloth is pulled over their farms to pick up ticks.

Ticks do not jump, they rub against an animal or a host, so the linen cloth imitates an animal and after 10 minutes pulls the cloth aside and carefully examines it for ticks.

Since the team started in the community in early June, they surveyed 111 houses in areas near parks, found 151 ticks around people's homes, and 6,728 ticks in island parks.

Most of these ticks they found were Black-legged Ticks or Deer Ticks, which transmitted Lyme Disease and Lone Star Ticks.

They said most of the ticks were

"This is very interesting for us as a researcher, because this is not the typical Lyme area where people believe it is an area with high risk, so that urban areas have always existed behind all these high endemic areas, but people he suffers from ticks, they get Lyme disease, and we have to understand why, "said Maria del Pilar Fernandez, one Postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University who is part of the Tick team.

An increase in Lyme disease cases are coming as the district's white-tailed wildlife population is booming, which many, including researchers from the University of Columbia believe, is one of the largest contributors to the growing number of Lyme cases on the island.

Fernandez said one of the things that she and her team of Islanders hear with ticks in their backyards is that they see deer almost every day.

To curb the island's growing stag population, the city has a controversial year-long $ 3.3 million vasectomy program on the island's dollars. The city says the program has been successful so far, but many argue that it does not do enough.

"The deer that came to the island and reproduced were a really important component," said Maria Diuk-Wasser, a lecturer at the University's Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, which heads the research team. "In areas where you have no deer at all, Lyme disease is very unlikely."

She also said mice are frequent ticks hosts.

A Columbia University researcher observes that a poppy is the size of a poppy, found in Blue Heron Park. (Photo Advance / Sydney Kashiwagi)

Although they have not collected accurate numbers, the team says in most high-risk tick areas on the island, many people have mentioned that they or anyone they know is diagnosed with Lyme disease has been .

While visiting the advance with the tick team, one woman said that she had found 40 ticks on her last summer and was infected with Lyme disease.

Since this summer, the woman began spraying her garden with a tick spray. During the group's visit last week, they found no ticks in their garden.

"I'm thinking about [ticks] but we have to learn to live with it, because the deer will not go away." Robert Lawson, a homeowner on Poillon Avenue, said the advance as the ticks team's Hof appraised.

The team found no ticks in Lawson's garden but found a deer tick on the other side of its fence

CITY, STATE EFFORTS

Last summer, the city's Ministry of Health has its monitoring activities expanded from ticks from 7 to 21 locations throughout the city and 11 more on Staten Island alone. Before the city expanded its locations, there were only two tick checkpoints on Staten Island.

In addition to tick monitoring, the Department of Health said its efforts to combat the spread of ticks and Lyme disease were focused on educating and educating signage in city parks, which are known to have ticks to tell people like them Can prevent tick bites.

At the state level, the Ministry of the Environment has adopted a more direct approach to the fight against ticks.

Earlier this year, DEC expanded efforts nationwide to allow communities to operate feeding stations that apply tick pesticides to the head and neck of the deer as they eat.

The stations cost between $ 2,159 to $ 2,429 during the first year, and between $ 1,480-1,750 to continue them. 19659002] So far, DEC has stated that it has not received any application or issued permits for communities in New York City or Staten Island.

The Department of Health could not be reached to comment on whether it is considering bringing the stations to Staten Island.

INTERVENTION

After completing their door-to-door fieldwork in August, the team is planning an investigation. Boroughers are asking everything they think about Lyme disease Control of deer, mice and what kind of interventions they need to control the spread of ticks.

Diuk-Wasser said a tick intervention must be necessary twice. In parks, the government has to intervene, but at the neighborhood level, she says the church can also play a role.

"In a park, of course, it must be the state or town that runs the park," said Diuk-Water. "There are also neighborhood-level measures where you can control deer in a certain area so everyone has to come together at that particular location."


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