Study planned on tick-borne diseases

The New Milford Health Department has agreed to participate in a Lyme (and other tick-borne) study this spring and summer.

The purpose will be to determine whether tick-borne diseases could be prevented by using a single application of pesticide to yard edges during the spring.

The Lyme and Other Tick-borne Diseases Prevention Study will be conducted by the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program, which is a collaborative effort between the state Department of Public Health, the Yale School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC.

In early February, letters were to be distributed in an attempt to recruit 500 participants for the study.

Eligible participants will be families of three or more people in single-family, owner-occupied residences who have a yard between one-half acre and five acres.

Properties with a body of water such as a stream, pond or lake within 100 feet of where the yard borders the woods or brushy area are not eligible.

The study will use a U.S. EPA-registered pesticide, bifenthrin, which is widely available. It will be used in liquid form diluted for spraying and will be applied between May 1 and June 15.

The study is a randomized study trial, which means half of the participants will receive a single application of the pesticide to their yard and the other half will receive a single application of water.

Participants and study researchers will not know which properties belong to which treatment group. However, participants will be informed at the end of the study.

Letters are being sent to potential participants starting this month. Residents who receive letters can follow instructions to become a study participant.

Participants will receive up to $40 in gift cards.

For more information, call the health department at 860-355-6035 or visit