Break out the bug repellent, pull up your socks and think before hiking and playing this summer. The snow insulated winter and the spring rains have brought an onslaught of pests on Long Island including swarms of virus-carrying mosquitoes, armies of tree-devouring caterpillars and maybe you’d better sit down a heat-seeking tick that tracks down its prey instead of waiting for it to brush by, like a guided heat missile.
The name of this tick you may wonder is the “Lone Star Tick.” The female “Lone Star Tick” is easily distinguished from any other tick by her pronounced white dot or star in the center of her back, hence the name, the star is actually part of the female’s shield.
They are extremely aggressive ticks that are know to move long distances in pursuit of a host, in fact the Lone Star tick can detect an animal’s respiration at 30 or more feet and pursue the host. According to Sen. Charles Schumer about 30% of the ticks that were examined by a Nassau laboratory in 2004 and 2005 were Lone Star ticks. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed finding pockets of them on Long Island.
This tick is known to carry diseases such as Human Ehrilchiosis, Tularemia and are suspected of carrying Lyme Disease and possibly Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Thousands have contracted Lyme disease, a bacterial infection most often carried by tick, on the Island in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 51,000 cases of Lyme disease in New York in 2004 which puts New York at the top of the list nationally. In fact, the state Department of Health reports that the number of yearly incidents of Lyme disease in Suffolk County has doubled to 561 cases from 2003 to 2004 with a slight but not significant decrease to 542 in 2005.
Prevention against ticks is a necessary act. Actions such as tucking your socks into your pants, spraying your self with a deet-based skin repellent,please be sure to follow application guidelines on the product. Natures Guardian Inc. can spray your property with a series of tick spray’s along with property management and application’s of Damminix to help keep the population down throughout the remainder of the season. Remember these pesky pests hang around until the first deep frost and that could be as late as December. Call Natures Guardian Inc. now to set up an appointment to begin spraying your property.
** excerpts of this article have been taken from Newsday.com Friday, July 7, 2006