LYME Facts

Ticks are most active in spring and summer and can be found in grass, leaves, wooded areas, and branches.  They crawl up a blade of grass or sit on the edge of brush or leaves with their front legs extended, waiting for a passing host.  Once on you, they find a soft feeding surface, cut the skin, imbed their feeding tubes and suck blood for several days if unnoticed.  The name – deer tick- is a misnomer since any mammal or bird can carry the black legged tick which may or may not have Lyme Disease bacteria.  Small mammals, such as shrews, chipmunks, who don’t groom themselves regularly, tend to carry ticks.  But foxes, raccoons, opossums hunt these small mammals and don’t get Lyme Disease probably because they also are very tidy.

CDC – Tick Life Cycle and Hosts – Ticks.   Not all ticks carry disease and not everyone with a tick borne disease finds a tick on themselves. If you find a tick imbedded use fine tip tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.  Pull upward with steady pressure until the tick is removed.  Wash the area and your hands with soap and water or alcohol.  Currently, if you are a resident, you can go on TickReport – Tick Testing Services for Lyme Disease and tick-borne diseases and fill out a form to have the tick tested for bacteria and a report sent to you free of charge.  There are pre-paid envelopes available in the Public Health Nursing Office in the Human Services Building.

Symptoms of tick borne diseases may include malaise, headache, fever, joint pain, muscle pain, chills, and nausea and vomiting. For Lyme disease there may be a bullseye rash.

LYME STATE BY STATE
4ticks Just a year ago in July 2015 Pa was among the highest and increasing – but not one of the 4 highest
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/20/map-lyme /
PA 6470 CT 1719 ME 1169 NJ 2589 NY 2853 WV 112 WI 991
“Surveillance data are captured by county of residence, not county of exposure.”
From http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/tables.html
(About 300,000 average per yr are diagnosed with lyme – http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/humancases.html )

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
The number of cases in Montgomery County are about 4.8% of the cases in PA for 2014.
Montco Health says (still posted as of 6-16) of the 6470 PA cases of Lyme only 312 are in Montgomery county — This site however also mentions keeping deer out as one of the prime preventions ( also mentions rodents – briefly but elaborates on deer ) . http://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/1037
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LYME TOWNSHIP BY TOWNSHIP
Looked at the 5-year averages for Lyme Disease cases, and while they appear shocking, they’re really not in terms of averages.
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Abington for 2009 – 2013 average:
19 cases / 55,310 population = .000343 or 0.0343 %
bow hunting started in 2007? Hunting since 1996 or 7
Lorimor Park hunts started in 2002 ( 18 killed in 2014 – 15 killed in 2015 )
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Upper Dublin 2009 – 2013 average
13.4 cases / 25,569 population = .000524 or 0.0524 %
bow hunting started in 2009 An average of 28 deer taken each year
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Whitemarsh Township
8.8 cases / 17,349 population = 0.000507 or 0.05 %
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Lower Merion 2009 – 2013 average
(Gladwynne to Ardmore)
21 cases / 57,825 population = .00036 or 0.036 %
sharpshooting started 2011
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Upper Merion 2009 – 2013 average
(Gulph Mills, Valley Forge, K. Prussia, Wayne)
11.6 cases / 28,395 population = 0.000408 or 0.041 %
Valley Forge sharpshooting by the National Park Service since 2010
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KILLING DEER & SMALLER ANIMALS CAN MAKE IT WORSE

Opossums get rid of 90-96 % of ticks they encounter and make you safer http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-are-saviors-humans-against-lyme-disease-don-t-make-them-roadkill

Killing Deer may make things worse – as the Ticks have multiple hosts and dogs or humans may end up as the alternative hosts
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/facts/lyme_disease.html

KILLING JUST THE DISEASE CARRIERS
4-Poster Bait Box System
One proven way to reduce tick numbers is the 4-Poster bait box system. It attracts deer to corn bait stations where a tick-killing product is applied to the deer’s neck and shoulders. In essence, this device uses deer to kill ticks and has shown dramatic reductions in tick numbers in areas where it has been used. The 4-Poster bait box is commercially available in the United States, but using and maintaining it requires a special license. For more information, see: http://www.liebertonline.com/toc/vbz/9/4

Tick Tubes
Homeowners can use Damminix Tick Tubes—tubes filled with permethrin-treated cotton balls which mice use for nesting material. This kills the ticks in their early larval stage when they attach to mice as their first host. Damminix tubes are an effective approach to reducing ticks and are commercially available at garden or hardware stores or the internet.

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