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New Methods for Preventing Lyme Disease
With symptoms ranging from fever, headaches and fatigue to damaging infections of the joints, heart and nervous system, Lyme disease is a significant health concern.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi which is transmitted to humans and animals through tick bites. “Although many tick species can transmit Lyme disease, deer ticks are primary carriers in the United States,” says Jason Wiles, wildlife control expert and general manager of DeerBusters.com.
White-tailed deer are the favorite hosts of deer ticks. In the warm summer months, when deer become extremely active, deer ticks thrive. As deer enter backyards in search of food, deer ticks and Lyme disease follow.
According to Wiles, “deer fencing is the most effective means for excluding deer.” Wiles adds that “animal repellents, which deter deer using odors and chemicals, and animal scaring devices, which deter deer using sounds, can be satisfactory alternatives when deer fencing is not feasible.”
According to the National Center for Biological Information, a division of the National Institute of Health, the use of deer fencing has been proven to reduce the risk of Lyme disease by 83-97% (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Without deer entering the area surrounding your home, new deer ticks become limited and eventually, existing deer ticks become scarce.
When choosing a method for deer control, factors to consider include environmental impact, cost, value, safety, aesthetics and practicality. “Deer fencing is available in a variety of sizes, styles and prices and can be judged by its strength (or breaking load), warranty, ease of installation and the aesthetics of its design,” explains Wiles. “Virtually invisible deer fencing, for example, can be highly effective without disrupting the look of surrounding property.
According to Wiles, “non-toxic, organic deer repellents can be an excellent alternative to harsh chemical repellents. In addition to the environmental benefits, organic repellents can be safer for children and pets.”
By protecting your living area from deer, you may reduce your risk of Lyme disease by as much as 97%.