Skip to comments.Local Scientists Develop Key To Lyme Disease Prevention
Posted on 08/02/2004 6:10:17 AM PDT by laotzu
Yankee Protestors Halt The Cure:
There seems to be something amiss in the New England Lyme disease prevention debate--common sense.
Two state wildlife departments are using junk science and smoke screens to prevent deployment of a device with no moving parts, the 4-Poster, that has been scientifically proven to control the ticks that spread Lyme disease. The instrument was developed here, in Texas.
The 4-Poster technique, which is extremely successful at controlling the ticks that deliver the disease to humans, has been effectively rejected by the Connecticut Division of Wildlife for use in that state, according to Dr. Mat Pound of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) office in Kerrville.
Connecticuts bureaucracy has approved the use of the 4-Poster, but stipulated so many conditions and restrictions that the situation is ultimately prohibitive.
Rumors leaked indicate that New York may be about to rule against use of the 4-Poster in that state. New York is the epicenter of Lyme disease, and spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on prevention research.
The New York State Bureau of Wildlife would not respond to questions regarding the 4-Poster or their deer management policies.
The 4-Poster is basically a box of food for deer that requires they rub across a pesticide applicator as they lean in for corn. The pesticide used with the 4-Poster, permethrin, is an environmentally and human-safe substance that kills the ticks that spread the disease.
Permethrin is widely used in New England homes and yards. Thousands of infants crawl on permethrin laced carpets every day, with no ill affects. It is also applied to U.S. military clothing.
But while the lives of nearly all New Englanders are affected by the malady, a few naysayers are snowballing a stink about the substance being used in the wild, claiming that the technique poses hazards to water resources and human health.
USDA scientists insist that such claims are totally unfounded, that there is no possibility of runoff into reservoirs when the unit is properly used and the low toxicity to humans is a matter of record.
Lyme disease is the hazard.
A single tick can lay up to three thousand eggs at one time. Within weeks, the eggs have hatched and new ticks are laying eggs. A single deer can host thousands of ticks in one year.
American cases of Lyme disease are increasing dramatically. The purview of human suffering, and the humans yet to suffer, is beyond comprehension.
There is a solution. The solution is the 4-Poster.
Dr. Pound demonstrated scientific evidence that the 4-Poster controls ticks, in an experiment at Goddard Space Flight Center at Greenbelt, Maryland.
Within that fenced, 600+acre facility a four-year study, utilizing four 4-Posters on a population of approximately 75 deer, proved 98 percent effective in eliminating ticks.
The original three-year study at Kerr Wildlife Management Area, using a less-conventional pesticide, proved 92 percent effective within a 96acre test pasture, as compared to a 96acre control pasture.
4-Posters are currently being used successfully in several states, including Texas.
One of the reasons that the Connecticut Division of Wildlife questions the efficacy of the 4-Poster method is that it performed at only 70 percent effective in tests that the agency conducted.
Sources inside the USDA insist that Connecticuts wildlife department was warned more than once, prior to conclusion of the study, that they were not using the equipment correctly.
But 70 percent is still about 69.9 percent better than anything else out there.
Another reason that Connecticut spurns the use of 4-Posters is the state is extremely overpopulated with deer, and they claim that supplemental feeding will enhance the reproductive rate of the wild deer population.
New York is also vastly overpopulated with deer.
Credible biologists within the wildlife management community suggest that there is no valid scientific evidence that adding corn, a grain that has a lower percentage of protein than the animals natural requirement drives them to, enhance reproductive rates, in a typical year.
Another argument has been presented that chronic wasting disease, the ungulate equivalent to mad cow disease, might be spread due to the close proximity of deer to one another as a result of visiting the feeder.
There are scientific problems with this excuse.
There has never been a case of chronic wasting disease in Connecticut or New York.
There is a more ominous logic that contradicts the disease argument, though.
When a government claims its habitat to be overpopulated with deer, but will not manage the resource, who, then, should manage the animals?
Disease is the natural cure for overpopulation.
Excepting the 4-Poster, there is no known habitat treatment to prevent the spread of Lyme disease except aerial spraying of pesticides.
Billions of dollars is spent on unsuccessful prevention research while elected officials and bureaucrats turn their backs on the solution.
Whats the problem?
No problem. Not with the equipment, anyway.
Davis Weld, Executive Director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF), points out that many residents of New England have modified their lifestyles to accommodate the risks associated with living there.
Parents strip-search their children after playing outside, and many avoid any venture into high grass--even right outside their homes. Weld describes one familys resorting to building a deck around their entire house, so as to avoid touching their lawn.
Some have moved to other parts of the country.
Extreme? Perhaps. But the consequences of contracting the disease can be severe, and can last a lifetime.
As concrete and steel continue to dominate human landscape evolution, the citified population is desensitized to wildlife management, landowner rights to manage their resources and habitat stewardship responsibilities.
True conservationists understand the necessity to manage wildlife and habitat factoring humans urban and agricultural influences.
Conservationists strive to understand the life cycle, accepting that the encroachment of humanity upon wildlife and habitat is essentially inevitable, and effort to maintain a reasonable imbalance.
Preservationists, on the other hand, are also perpetrators of encroachment, but advocate non-intervention at the expense of de-prioritizing the human condition.
Many of the preservationist types put animals on a spiritual plane with humans, but claim that there is no God.
Some claim that plants have consciousness, but eat plants exclusively.
Some insist that killing animals for food is wrong, but approve of late-term abortions.
It is a similar mentality that refuses to accept the scientific necessity to intervene, in this case.
Unfortunately the New England press is on the dance card, spreading misinformation and rallying the kooks.
Michael Moore suffers from "Key-Lyme Disease" - Eating Massive amounts of KeyLime Pies...and tellin' Lies!....
I live in RI and have had LD twice. The first time I never saw the tick and never had the bullseye mark. I was in the 1st trimester of my pregnancy when I started having symptoms and no one suspected LD. Finally, after my son was born, I was told to get a LD test. The second time I got LD, I was lucky enough to have seen the tick. I'm about to get tested again and so is one of my boys.
I would be very grateful if something could be done to stop LD!
There is some kind of political agenda surrounding the issue of Lyme Disease. I don't quite get the concept. Maybe it's the insurance companies who are scared to death of having to cover it. Don't know. All I know is that I've been in actual shouting matches with doctors here who refuse to believe that we have Lyme in CA. It's a very weird situation.
Tiny menace undermines Pine Bush's beauty
Albany -- Danger of ticks, Lyme disease mar pristine nature of preserve
By CAROL DeMARE, Staff writer
First published: Sunday, August 1, 2004
For nearly three decades, a day didn't go by without Don Rittner hiking into his beloved Pine Bush Preserve.
Considered a resident expert on the ecologically sensitive wilderness, Rittner had up-close familiarity with the pitch pines, scrub oaks, hog-nosed snakes, spade-foot toads and, of course, the Karner blue butterfly. ...
He guided groups of school kids and seniors, impressing upon them the habitat's uniqueness and his own 30-year fight to stave off development from chipping away the preserve, acre by acre. ...
He led moonlight horseback rides that meandered along rugged paths of the barrens, which once spanned 30,000 contiguous acres and now cover 6,000 acres -- of which about 3,000 are protected, bordering on Albany, Guilderland and Colonie.
But all that has changed.
Two summers ago, he hiked in to check on the population of the Karner blue -- the symbol of the Pine Bush preservation movement Rittner started in 1972 while a student at the University at Albany.
"I was in there half an hour and walked out, got into my car, and as I looked down to put the key in, I noticed that my pants were literally covered with ticks," he said.
"I had bare arms, a short-sleeved shirt, and there were ticks on my arms and ticks on my shirt. I literally jumped out of the car."
He frantically brushed them off, sprayed the car and himself and drove home, believing he had gotten them all. That night he found himself itching his inner thigh and felt a lump.
"Sure enough there was a big tick sucking my blood," he said. ...
Rittner's experience was unsettling. "For 25 years, I went out every single day and the only thing I ever found on me was an occasional grasshopper, and I was literally walking through every inch," he said. "And, then, I'm out a half-hour and I'm covered with deer ticks from head to toe."
Three of his friends have Lyme disease, named in 1977, when children in Lyme, Conn., got sick. Last year, there were 269 cases of Lyme disease in the four-county region. Additionally, almost 1,000 cases were reported in Columbia County. ...
Since the incident, Rittner, who was the city archaeologist under Albany Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd and Pine Bush preserve manager under Mayor Thomas Whalen, has gone in occasionally but covers up and sprays himself. He won't take his three young sons with him. The author of 22 books, mainly on local history, feels the preserve is lost to the casual nature lover.
"You had this unique natural area ... so that in two to five minutes you could leave the urban congestion of a downtown and be standing in between sand dunes listening to sounds of warblers and watching butterflies," said Rittner, who holds degrees in anthropology, environmental science and environmental planning.
In the 1970s when there were 100,000 Karner blues, "one would land on my finger and stay there as I walked around on the tour," he said. "Now if you can see one, it's a good day."
"We have this preserve that we spent millions of dollars to protect and if you want to go out there you have to wear a space suit doused with insecticide. That's not why we saved the Pine Bush."
(Like the Rittner above, I used to go into the pine bush with my son but no more after we were ticked off two years ago. I've done some cross country races there since, but being 50+ years am not afraid of ticks as I am a middle of the pack runner and all the ticks are on the younger or better runners ahead of me.)
What is the 4-Poster? Is it chemical? The tick population seems to be down on my patch. Haven't seen any on the horses, dogs, cats, etc.
"The first time I never saw the tick and never had the bullseye mark."
I share that experience, except I did see the tick. I contracted LD in Oklahoma.
Reread article....I see it is chemical. I have loads of deer on my pastures....
I caught LD while on my Mountain bike here in MD. I have never, ever, ever been so sick in my life. Crushing headaches, extreme fatigue and dull joint pain; whew!
I was fortunate that I got the rash and it was diagnosed early. A week of antibiotics and was back on my feet. Now I make sure I wear insect repellant with DEET.
FWIW, just had my 13 year old treated for Lyme disease. He did have the bullseye pattern rash but the doctor said that often the rash doesn't appear on the first exposure to the disease but will show up on subsequent exposures.
Ugh; I have a small bullseye place on my leg that I've been watching and treating at home. Didn't consider Lyme. I feel okay though. Does anything else cause the same type of skin patch?
"I was fortunate that I got the rash and it was diagnosed early. A week of antibiotics and was back on my feet. Now I make sure I wear insect repellant with DEET."
Exact same thing happened to my wife. Fortunately we noticed the bullseye rash at the point where I had removed a tick from her days before. Immediate attention and antibiotics did the trick.
I now spray the gardern area with diazinon, and yes permethrin and DEET are effective.
Too many people have no idea about the dangers of Lyme disease and are more freaked out by the idea of using any "chemicals" to stop it's spread.
The "organic is good -CHEMICALS ARE BAD! mentality" of the ECO freaks are causing unecessary deaths.
Gee, if this is the concern, replace the feed ration with a salt block. I would bet it would work JUST AS WELL.
"Does anything else cause the same type of skin patch?"
Ringworm? (It's actually a fungal infection).
"New York is also vastly overpopulated with deer."
Maybe they should also address the deer overpopulation. I hear that a mixture of lead and gunpowder is effective. ;-)
Well that was my first thought so I've been treating it with the cream that's supposed to help but so far it hasn't. I can't see it being lyme but I kinda freaked when I saw the photos. If it still doesn't look better next week I'll break down and go have it checked.