Montauk Life Montauk Life - July 2018 (5) - Page 70

REAL ESTATE: HOME IMPROVEMENT DON’T FORGET FIDO!! I f you think you’re liable to pick-up a tick or two imagine your dog! Romping in the woods, walking the fields, running along the beach every step of the way Rover is exposed to more ticks than you can possibly imagine. And whether short or long haired finding and getting rid of them is almost impossible. That’s why you have to ensure your pets safety with some form of tick and flea protection. The best will actually repel them, all do a good job of killing them before they can transmit disease. So, whether it’s a good medical collar, a monthly oral dose or an applied repellant it is essential you try to keep your pets exposure to those same debilitating diseases you fear for yourself and your family. Just go to any local pet store, they stock most every brand and style available. Or, ask your vet to prescribe something even more aggressive like the eight month long protection a Seresto collar provides. In any case you and your pet will sleep better knowing they have some protection this summer.   TICKED OFF?? Well, you should be! 2018 is going down as one of the single worst years on record for ticks in this area. They are literally everywhere! On trees, bushes, flow- ers, weeds, your lawn, your deck, your patio, seem- ingly floating in the breeze you can’t take a step out- side most homes in this area without the prospect of a tick of some kind finding and feasting on you. Why, dear God, is this year so bad? As strange as it sounds it all goes back to last fall. You may re- member great weather left us with a bumper crop of acorns littering the East End. What’s that got to do with ticks? Acorns are the prime protein for little var- mints like mice, moles and voles, that are in essence the prime delivery system for bringing ticks into your backyard. Thought it was deer? Sure, they play a part, but you can at least protect yourself from their intrusion by screening or fencing your property. You can’t do that with those other warm-blooded, fleet footed little rodents. They can crawl or burrow and tunnel their way into any yard anywhere. Just as loaded with ticks as deer, their sheer numbers and habitat ensure a steady spread of ticks. And with last year’s bonanza DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ONE D ealing with a tick is tricky proposition. First you have to actually find the little sucker, and given the number of pin-head sized nymphs (baby) ticks in our woods and fields you may not even see it before it’s taken a good bite. But once found the easiest way to remove it is by using one of SOUTH- AMPTON/STONY BROOK HOSPITALS tick kits. Inside you have a magnifying glass to ID the cul- prit, specially designed tweezers to yank it out, an- tiseptic to clean the wound and bandages to bind it. Most importantly, there is a tick ID card that can help tell you what the heck just tried to dine on your blood stream. 70 | Montauk Life | JULY 2018 of food feeding them we have more small rodents this year to spread ticks than every before!   AND NOW FOR SOMETHING NEW AND DEADLY We all know that ticks carry a variety of ills. Lyme’s disease is the most common, found in most every tick that crawls across the East End landscape. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is far less frequently trans- mitted, but still a staple of some local ticks. Although the recently imported Lone Star tick (little fellow with the white dot) seems to carry a whole pharmacy of problems, according to the CDC it does not carry Lyme’s. It does however, transmit STARI (Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness) that mimics the red rash, fever and joint pain of Lyme’s. Thankfully, both it and Lyme’s respond well to immediate and consis- tent anti-biotic treatment. One scary new wrinkle the tick department is the recent cases of Powassan, a deadly virus spread by the same deer ticks that carry Lyme. Although very rare, only 16 cases reported in New York State since 2000, last year four were reported including an elder- ly woman in Saratoga Springs who died from it. This year one case has been sighted in Columbia Country and officials are on the watch for it state wide. And if that wasn’t enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck, New Jersey health officials have confirmed the first cases of East Asian ticks in live- stock there. Similar to their American cousins these bugs also carry a host of diseases that could bring two new curses to these chores. Japanese Spotted Fever and Severe Fever are both transmitted by East Asian ticks and both are serious infections that cause high fevers, weakened white blood cell levels and assorted joint pain.   SO WHAT TO DO? That is besides stay indoors, order pizza and wait for winter! To have a chance of enjoying your backyard with some degree of peace of mind and safety you need a pro like EAST END TICK AND MOSQUITO CON- TROL 631-324-9700/631-287-9020. With offices in East Hampton and Southampton they are the East End’s largest and most experienced folks, armed with an array of ecologically sensitive yet effective products, they have the tools and techniques to tackle your tick problem. ■ So, the procedure is first, remove it with the tweezers, being careful to work the head out. Second, clean the wound and apply the local anti- septic. Third, call your doctor. Odds are if the tick was on you for less than 24 hours your chance of any transmission is slim. Nevertheless, a 2-7 day course of strong antibiot- ics is generally recommended. In most every case handled properly you will suffer no long term ef- fects. Ignore the problem and you could be in for a lifetime’s suffering. To learn more contact the Hospitals’ Regional Tick-Bourne Disease Resource Center at 631-726- TICK or go to