Tick Bite Deterrent Advice Given by Entomology Expert

The serious threat tick bites can bring, and the need to inform the public on ways to repel ticks, has actually persuaded Gov. Donald Carcieri of Rhode Island to proclaim June 3 Tick Control Awareness Day. Thomas Mather, a professor of entomology and the director of the Center for Vector-Borne Disease at the University of Rhode Island has completed extensive research on the subject of tick bites. Ways to deter tick bites was so greatly needed that state involvement was warranted.

‘”With Lyme Disease becoming an ever-increasing hazard in Rhode Island, I felt that it was critical that the governor do something to raise the public’s awareness,” said Mather, who is also the coordinator for Tick Control Awareness Day. “There is already a great awareness about the disease but, until now, there has been no coordinated effort to educate people about how to control ticks and prevent tick bites.”‘

So what repellent was determined to work best to deter ticks?

‘For personal protection, Mather suggests daily tick checks. He also suggests the use of permethrin, a tick repellent on-clothing spray.
“Sure you can put DEET on your skin and that should help, but what we found works best is when it is combined with permethrin, a spray for your clothes,” Mather said. “When combined together, these two products are proven to be much more effective.”‘

Your pets are also susceptible to tick bites. Tick repellents for pets are suggested for them.

‘When it comes to family pets, there are topical solutions and vaccines that are most widely used to protect them from Lyme, Mather said.
“Cats do not tend to be as susceptible to Lyme as dogs and, because of the thickness of their fur, ticks have a tendency to walk outside of their fur rather than burrow in,” Mather said. “Because of this, cats tend to be carriers more than anything and people need to be especially careful for themselves if they have a cat that goes in and outside.”‘

It seems a combination of DEET and permethrin are this experts suggestions to deter tick bites.

Tick Bite Deterrent Help Given by Entomology Expert

Triple E Threat Invokes Increased Mosquito Repellent Use

Who hasn’t been to a summer camp and been bitten by a mosquito or two? Even if you’re wearing mosquito barrier, it’s difficult to avoid.  One of the points of summer camp is learning how to interact with nature and discovering how it interacts with us. The threat of eastern equine encephalitis, also known as triple E, is forcing a change in that attitude however.  Diseases carried by these bugs has forced an increased awareness on the use of proper mosquito repellents which deter the threats.

‘Mosquito borne illnesses like Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus are changing the way summer camps operate and sending camp directors scurrying for advice on how to protect their young charges.

“It’s kind of scary to think of camp changing and not being outside,” said Chris Conlon, who runs the 4-H camps at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown and the Barry Conservation Center outside Berlin.

For now, he’ll preserve the campfire tradition but urge his counselors to be vigilant in getting campers to use bug spray and put on long pants and long sleeves before they gather round the fire.

“It’s definitely a new wrinkle in risk management for camps,” he said.

Triple E can cause sudden high fever, seizures and coma. About one-third of patients die. Last year, seven people became ill with Triple E in New Hampshire and two people died.

Like many New Hampshire camp directors, Conlon has investigated options for killing off mosquitoes on camp property, considered indoor activities for certain times of day, like dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and researched how best to protect youngsters.

Of the camps contacted for this story, none were spraying for mosquitoes. Camp directors said they will focus instead on teaching kids to protect themselves.

“The risks of spraying outweigh the risks of Triple E,” Ed Orlowski, director of Camp Spaulding in Concord, concluded. He said he’d rather keep campers in a chemical-free environment.

At Camp Coniston in Grantham, using insecticides to eliminate mosquitoes from the 150-acre Lake Coniston is just unrealistic, director John Tilley said. Better to keep the cabin screens in good repair and urge campers to bring plenty of bug repellent, he said.

One of the experts camp directors are consulting is Alan Eaton, an entomologist with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

“The greatest risks associated with acquiring encephalitis are things that you control,” he said. The danger is that kids feel invulnerable.

That means many camp directors are focusing on training their counselors to remind children to protect themselves from mosquitoes. Breaks from activity to get a drink and apply sunscreen will be expanded to include applying bug repellent.

Judicious use of bug spray, appropriate clothing and caution at certain times of day provide the most protection, Eaton said. Camp directors like homeowners also can eliminate some breeding opportunities for mosquitoes by fixing clogged gutters, draining bird baths and rain barrels, he added.’

Be sure to protect yourself by wearing recommended mosquito deterrent to avoid the itching and other threats.

Triple E Threat Invokes Increased Mosquito Repellent Use