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Tick Tube Testing in Fire Island Proof Positive in the Fight Against Lyme Disease

The Village of Fire Island Pines, which is off the southern coast of Long Island, NY was one of the first communities to actively make an effort to lessen Lyme disease in the area by treating all of it’s almost 400 homes within this community with tick tubes.

Tick tubes are biodegradable, cardboard tubes filled with tick control treated cotton balls. Mice collect the cotton balls to use to build their nests. Deer ticks then feed on the mice during the Spring and Fall and are exposed to the tick control and are killed. Lyme disease is spread through the hard to reach deer tick. Deer spread the ticks that are infected with Lyme disease, but these same ticks actually contract the disease through mice and not through the deer. Tick tubes use the nesting habits of the mice to deliver the tick control to the source.

The active ingredient used within these innovative tick tubes is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring pesticide which is an extract that comes from the flower heads of the chrysanthemum. It is highly toxic to ticks, but is safe to mammals and birds, so safe the FDA approved it’s use in head-louse shampoos for children. It won’t even harm the mouse that is the “messenger”of the tick killing cotton ball inside the tick tube.

Ecohealth took advantage of the testing in the Village of Fire Island Pines to chart the efficiency of the tick tubes in a large-scale treatment. Over an eight year span Ecohealth sent a staff scientist each June or July to collect ticks from the tick tube treated area and untreated areas adjacent to the Village where the terrain is identical.

Following their collection, the ticks were cut open and examined under a microscope to see whether they were carrying the Lyme disease bacteria. The testing indicated that there was a 90% reduction each year that the tick tubes were put out. Over an eight year period the threat in the Village of Fire Island Pines was all but eradicated.

This study shows the benefits of using tick tubes. Tests indicate that using these tick tubes can reduce the risk of encountering an infected tick on treated property by up to 97%. If you would like to find out more about using this safe, effective and environmentally product on your property, give Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham a call and we can meet with you to discuss a plan of action.