LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
Scientists from the northeastern region of the U.S. have found a new and safer way to control and kill the little black legged insect responsible for Lyme disease – the deer tick.
Unlike synthetic pesticides which can become harmful to humans and other beneficial insects, this new natural pesticide is derived from a strain of fungus found in the soil. First tested on residential properties in northwestern Connecticut, the F52 strain of the Metarhizium anisopliae fungus eliminated up to 74% of the ticks after treatment.
Kirby Stafford, chief entomologist of the Canadian plant where the drug is set to be manufactured had this to say in a recent interview with the Connecticut Newstimes, “A lot of people do have their yards sprayed with pesticides, and they are quite effective, because synthetic materials will give you an 85 to 100 percent success rate. But there are a special number of people who don’t want to use them. The (organic product) may be slightly less effective, but it’s giving people options. It certainly would fit in to organic land care.”
The product is expected to be commercially available in 2014 under the name Tick-Ex.
About Lyme disease.
According to the journal of My Health News Daily, in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Lyme disease is one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases in North America. There were nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. in 2009, according to the CDC. People are infected with bacteria that cause Lyme disease when they are bitten by an infected deer tick.
The Yale School of Public Health produced the above map, which identifies the areas where humans have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease in the U.S.
Hunters and outdoorsman alike should take caution and be sure to stay safe and spray down before entering the woods this season.