Offers perspectives on the fight against ticks
To the Editor:
I appreciate Mrs. Tremont's concern and her thoughtful comments about the use of Bifenthrin in the study being performed by the Yale School of Public Health regarding deer ticks.
I do understand some chemicals have carcinogenic properties. I also understand the need to study the risk/benefit of using such chemicals in the environment.
By the way, as stated by Mrs Tremont, Bifenthrin is related to pyethroid. It is also the man-made version of pyrethrin, a naturally produced insecticide found in the chrysanthemum plant.
To the best of my knowledge, the spray will not be used on flowering vegetation and will cover only the perimeter of the yards being studied. That being the case, I believe the damage to bees would be negligible.
The study reads this way: "As part of the study, the properties will receive a single springtime application of a widely used pesticide or a placebo (water) to control ticks. The one-time spraying will only be around the yard's perimeter.
"Participants will be interviewed by telephone at the beginning of the study and complete email surveys at monthly intervals from May through October to assess their encounters with ticks (e.g., numbers attached and numbers found crawling on people) and the number of tick-borne illnesses among household residents.
"Findings from the treated properties will be compared to those from the placebo properties to determine if a springtime application of the commonly used pesticide can reduce rates of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses."
Having contracted Lyme Disease in the past and having experienced the ravages of the disease, I consider the benefits in my case, at least, to outweigh the risk and I would welcome those conducting the study to spray the perimeter of my property.