Reducing risk of Lyme disease by using insecticide

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When it comes to reducing your risk of contracting Lyme disease, you can't change the world, but you can impact your neck of the woods.

Bayer Environmental Science has developed a product in cooperation with scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reduces the number of deer ticks on residential properties by 80 percent after a year, and by 96 percent after two years. "With more than 75% of Lyme disease cases contracted on residential properties, protecting your home and yard is a great place to start," says Bayer Marketing Manager Chuck Cole.

The Maxforce(R) Tick Management System(TM) consists of a small, child- resistant box with an insecticide. Boxes are placed around the perimeter of properties to control the ticks that live on small rodents. Contrary to popular belief, it's the rodents, not the deer, who are responsible for transmitting Lyme disease bacteria to ticks, and usually in the nymphal stage when they are too small to detect.

By treating the rodents, Maxforce TMS gets to the root of the problem and breaks the cycle of Lyme disease. Maxforce TMS works like a "car wash" for mice and chipmunks by coating them with a small dose of insecticide as they pursue a food source in the box.

If left untreated, a typical field mouse can carry some 150 ticks during peak tick-activity periods between April and August. The active ingredient -- fipronil -- is among the world's leading insecticides, often used in flea and tick control products for pets.

Homeowners who participated in field trials reported dramatic results in the reduction of the tick populations on their property, their children, and their pets.

In wooded communities where ticks are prevalent, this change enables families to enjoy the outdoors where they were once fearful. "Before the trials, we were constantly doing tick checks and removing attached deer ticks from the children and from ourselves," said Lesley Cummin, a Connecticut homeowner. "Now we still do a nightly tick check, but we rarely, if ever, find a tick on the children, on ourselves or in the house.

The bait boxes have made an incredible difference in the quality of our life."

To find a trained applicator or for more information on the Maxforce Tick Management System, visit the Web site or call 1-800-331-2867.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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