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Suffolk Eyes Stepping Up Fight Against Ticks

New legislation would charge the county’s Vector Control to include tick abatement measures.

With Lyme and newer tick-borne diseases threatening locals more and more, Suffolk County legislature is considering a new law aimed at fighting ticks much like the county tackles mosquitoes.

The new bill, introduced by Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman and co-sponsored by Legislator Al Krupski, was announced Tuesday and would charge the county’s Vector Control division with the task of coming up with a yearly plan to control the tick population. Sponsors of the bill are concerned that tick-related diseases, such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, are on the rise, particularly on the East End. They say Vector Control has been paying too much attention to mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile and not addressing the spread of ticks in the county.

Under the proposed legislation, Vector Control would be required to outline the steps it is taking to reduce incidents of tick-related illness, the work it will be conducting, its methodology and the methods.

“Lyme disease is an epidemic on the East End of Long Island,” Krupski stated in a statement. “Most of us have been impacted in some way by tick-borne disease. Suffolk County needs to play an active role to control this growing health problem.”

Shelter Island and North Haven are already exploring the “4-Poster” system, which is a method to attract white-tailed deer to feeding stations, thereby concentrating their population. Deer ticks are primarily associated Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis.

The county division of Vector Control is part of the Suffolk County Health Department and operates on a yearly budget of $2.5 million. According to the county, Vector Control was initially created to focus on both mosquito and tick-borne illnesses.
amagansett voter September 18, 2013 at 01:35 PM
More talk...let's see some action...tick problem is decades old with no action taken to reduce threat.
Mo Neill September 18, 2013 at 02:10 PM
put a bubble over the East End & fog the bubble with insecticide to shoo away wasps, mosquitoes, ants, bedbugs, chiggers, recluse spiders, black widows, lice, fleas, & other insects, too, that are vectors of disease. we could all go live upIsand if preferred for a few days. Will they come to my house and fill the property with poison. But will spraying stop agriculture that attracts insects under the bubble too because we'll have no bees, no pollinators, no laldy bugs or praying mantis.or other beneficial insects. Then we could get rids of dogs & cats & mice and rats and horses.

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