John Ferro in the Poughkeepsie Journal reports
that Bard College's Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies began a five-year, $8.8 million tick-control study in Dutchess County in April, and they're surprised by how many families in the area have been willing to help. Felicia Keesing, a Bard College scientist who is co-directing the effort at the Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies, told the paper that, "this is a whole new level of engagement. It’s asking a lot more of people." Researchers have identifed a dozen Dutchess County neighborhoods with 100 properties each with hopes that participation levels reach as high as 50 percent. So far, 1,100 property owners have agreed to take part, and the researchers are looking for 100 more volunteers. Nationally, communities are using science to lower Lyme disease rates. "Earlier this year, a surge in Lyme rates prompted the Village of Fayetteville, near Syracuse, to hire federal sharpshooters to kill white-tailed deer," the Journal reports. This study is researching two responses to lower the spread of Lyme disease: a bait box that attracts mice, chipmunks, and other small rodents and sprays them with a tick-killing agent. The other method is to spray a naturally-occurring fungus that kills ticks. Read the full story in The Poughkeepsie Journal.