Your Family's Safety
Assess Your Risk
Deer ticks...Lyme disease...Assess your risk.
- Have a wood pile?
- Have a stone wall?
- Have bird feeders?
- Live in a coastal community?
- Live near a field with tall grass?
- Live adjacent to a wooded area?
- See chipmunks or mice in your yard?
- See deer on or around your property?
- Have a history of tick activity in your community?
- Have leaf litter around the perimeter of your property?
If you answered YES to several of the above, you may have deer ticks in your immediate area and be at risk of contracting tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease. Lyme disease was named in 1977 after a number of children in Lyme, Connecticut suffering from similar symptoms came down with an unidentified illness later found to be transmitted by the black legged tick, better known as the deer tick. According to informaiton released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year, upwards of 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are suspected in the US each year. This is about 10 times higher than the officially reported number of cases, indicating that the disease is being vastly underreported. The data was presented by CDC officials at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases in Boston, Massachusets.
The majority of infections occurring in the northeast and mid Atlantic regions of the United States. In the State of Maine in 2013, the CDC statistics showed over 1,340 confirmed and probable cases. Officials concede, however, that actual totals may be much higher. According to the CDC, "studies from the early 1990's suggest that Lyme disease cases were underreported by 6 to 12 fold in some areas where Lyme disease is endemic." You could have Lyme disease and not even know it.
Who's at risk? Anyone who spends time outdoors in proximity to deer tick habitat.
- Children playing in the yard
- Homeowners maintaining their property
It's estimated that 75% of Lyme disease cases are contracted within 100 feet of the home.
Even though humans aren't the tick's first choice of hosts, suburban sprawl into wooded habitat has placed people in closer proximity to white-tailed deer -the adult ticks' natural host and chief source of transportation. If deer are feeding on vegetation around your property, that is where a female tick may lay her eggs. Each adult female lays as many as 3,000 eggs per year. And contrary to popular belief, small rodents, not deer, are responsible for transmitting the Lyme disease bacteria to ticks. A typical mouse can carry dozens of ticks during peak tick activity periods and all have the potential to transmit Lyme disease.