Mosquitoes, and Ticks, and Covid, Oh My ~ And Can You Trip Over a Tick Fence?

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Covid-19 has everybody running scared, and just when you thought it might be safe to leave your house – WHAM!  The Board of Health reminds us of all of our usual threats, mosquitoes and ticks.

Mosquitoes 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected in Massachusetts already in 2020.  

I know, EEE is so… last year, but it’s serious.  I read that surges in EEE usually last three years and then start to wane again.  So last year was bad, we only have two to go. 

Seriously, EEE is a real threat and it’s a debilitating disease, take it seriously.  In the past, there have been cases here in Bedford. 

But EEE is not the only threat. West Nile Virus was recently detected in Belmont.

The Board of Health offers tips on dealing with mosquitoes, Mosquito Season is Upon Us!

And, Ticks!

Lest you forget, Massachusetts is a hot spot for Lyme disease and other nasty tick-borne diseases. 

So when you’re swatting at mosquitoes through your mask, don’t forget to do a thorough tick check too.

Here’s a fact sheet from the state of Massachusetts on Lyme Disease from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

There are the usual preventive measures we all can take; high socks, applying bug spray, avoiding high grass, and checking your pets, (hiding under the covers). 

Tick Fences

There was another thing that was mentioned, and I’m sorry I forget who said it, but someone mentioned a “tick fence.”  It was just too good to let go.  I instantly had a vision in my head of a small work crew of carpenter ants, busily working on erecting this tiny little fence. 

As appealing as this visual might have been, it’s not what it is.  (Although it’s still a funny image, how tall would it have to be?) 

There are two types of “tick fences” out there.  One is just a deer fence.  The theory is if you keep the deer out, you keep them from bringing ticks into your yard.  It’s not clear how those fences would have any effect on the mice carrying ticks. 

The other design is an actual barrier,  a three-foot-wide strip of gravel, concrete, or other surfaces that ticks won’t cross. It’s devoid of vegetation.

I talked with Public Works Engineer Adrienne St. John at the Bedford DPW.  They actually are proposing a “tick fence” on the South Road soccer fields. 

The fence would be designed to keep soccer balls out of the tick-infested woods, where kids go to retrieve them. They also are talking with the Conservation Committee about putting a 3-foot wide barrier, either gravel or concrete, to keep the ticks in the woods.

So stay safe, be smart, and remember, there’s one less thing to worry about. You probably won’t trip on that tick fence.

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