Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Wilma, Betty, Marianne, Ginger, Alice, Edith and Maude

Meet my outdoor pets. There’s Wilma, Betty, Marianne, Ginger, Alice, Edith, and Maude. Yep, all does and there’s a good chance that most of them are expecting little Bambis in the late spring. They love to eat my grass, nibble my shrubbery, poop all over my lawn and hang out under the big shade trees. The “girls” greet me each morning and  almost every morning. Sometimes they wag their tails when they see me (Ya think I’m kidding!)

They love my suburban yard and if you were a deer, you would, too! Hangin’ out in the lawns and nearby wooded areas of a typical suburban neighborhood in NJ means plenty of food and plenty of protection (unless, of course, they get hit by a car).All in all, they have the life of Reilly!

And they have a lot of company. Our neighborhood is the home of a  groundhog family, many  friendly squirrels- one in particular that  likes to eat black walnuts on our deck, an assortment of  brown rabbits, a fox or two, voles (field mice), chipmunks, raccoons, a nice-sized grey tabby, possums and lots of birds that co-habitat in perfect harmony. So what’s the problem?  Can you guess?  All of these beautiful creatures have the potential for carrying disease-spreading ticks.* (This was a huge fear of mine that I resolved with the help of Dr. Goodsoul - See "I MUST NOT FEAR") 

But the question is…was it always like this? Were these animals always carriers of these toxic ticks and we are just aware of this now? Or are there more ticks now than before?

Well – are there more ticks? What does your gut tell you?  YES!!! There ARE more ticks now than even 10 years ago!

Ask any hunter that has been in the woods for the past 30 years or so. I did. I know a few bow hunters who cull deer in our town and our county**. They don’t wear repellent!!! Deer have an acute sense of smell and wearing repellent would scare the deer away from their hunting area. So they are very familiar with ticks. About 30 years ago, there were hardly any ticks. Picking off one dog tick would be the norm for a day of hunting. Now – it’s a nightmare! Everyone they know, including themselves, have had Lyme disease and dealing with Lyme-related health issues.

According to Thomas Mather, professor of public health entomology at the University of Rhode Island and director of the TickEncounter Resource Center,  a leading source of tick-bite and disease prevention, “the observed tick increase relates directly to deer population, which are exploding in suburban and even semi-urban areas. Deer are the most important reproductive hosts for deer and Lone Star ticks. In Rhode Island, each deer produces about 450,000 larval deer ticks every year.”

WHOA! Then would it be possible that my outdoor pets could carry that many deer ticks, too? What does your now nauseas gut tell you? OF COURSE! So that would mean that  Wilma, Betty, Marianne, Ginger, Alice, Edith and Maude could potentially be the hosts to about 3,150,000 larval deer ticks each year!

Dr. Heath McNutt, a Vermont veterinarian and fellow blogger, adds “new species of  ticks are migrating into areas where they have not previously lived and development of land creates little micro climates that allow ticks to be active year round, even here in Northern New England.”  from Vet's View blog - "Dear dear ticks".

This diagram of the life cycle of the deer tick shows that there is no break in activity over the wintertime!

"Damn! We’re in a tight spot!" (to quote Ulysses Everett McGill)  Yes, people like me, who have become chronically ill due to tick bites ARE in a very tight spot!

Is there a solution? Absolutely!! The solution is simply protection. Protection is the key to being healthy and safe. So whenever I’m outside, doing any kind of yard work, I wear my hiking outfit - a pink baseball cap, shirt tucked into my pants, sweatshirt, off-white pants tucked into my white socks, white sneakers or mud boots. And, last but not least, I’m completely sprayed from head to toe (With Dr. Ben’s Personal Insect Repellent, of course!)
My hikin' and workin' around the yard outfit

“Deer ticks are not out in the middle of your lawn, they live where yards border wooded areas, ornamental plantings and gardens, or anywhere it is shaded and there are leaves with high humidity.” - Tick Encounter Resource Center.  So, with that in mind, we have protected our yard by keeping our grass short, reducing brush and weeds between our property and our neighbors, trimming shrubs and low branches and getting rid of bird feeders.  Our tractor lawn mower mulches the leaves into the grass.

And so far…so good.  Wearing protective clothing, repellent and maintaining our property is working.

Come to think of it… there is one more option…


* “white –footed mice are the  main reservoir host for Lyme disease spirochetes, Babesia protozoa, and Anaplasma  bacteria; in most settings, mice are the prime culprits for producing infected ticks.” - Tick Encounter Resource Center

**btw – the meat(venison) is donated to the needy.

I have no financial interest in Dr. Ben's or receive any commission from any sales.


Anonymous said...

Hi Healer,
There are deer in my neighborhood too but very seldom do they come into the yard. We have 30 chickens roaming free around our house, eating bugs and hopefully ticks but still our dog, who goes only on a lead in the front yard, brought 4 ticks into the house this past December. We had stopped spraying her with Cedar Oil because in our minds it was winter so we became less than vigilant. Wrong! We have a stone wall around part of our house and ticks seem to hang out there. The dog likely got the ticks from the wall.
Have you ever used Cedar Oil Yard spray? In the spring, we started spraying it around the house and the areas of the yard where we hang out. We sprayed it every 2 weeks and after about 5 sprays you can do it less often. Indoor spray, the kind for you, your clothes, your pets and children and furniture, can not be used outside because the formula (I think the quartz in it) will kill plants. So you use the outdoor spray and it actually builds up a barrier around your yard. The oil spreads out with each rain and releases pheromones that repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, etc. The butterflies and bees are not deterred by it and still come in but the bad guys stay out. So it basically builds a pheromone wall around your yard. We have had such remarkable reduction of ticks and mosquitoes in our yard with it that we recommend it to everyone. And when hubby sprays it, 30 chickens follow him around the house eating all the freshly dead, cedar tasting buggies that got in his path. :) (We even get significantly less stink bugs in the house too! That's another plus!)
My husband's square foot gardening business does sell the cedar spray, personal and yard, so we do make money from it. We sell it because we want to offer people a way to protect themselves from Lyme Disease. (13 people out of the 30 who live on our street have Lyme Disease.) But you're not buying from us, likely none of your readers are, so you can see I'm telling you about it because it really does work and from one lyme survivor to another, I want you to be protected while you enjoy your outdoors.

healerdealer said...

Thanks 17 hens - I was thinking of trying the Cedar Oil Yard spray this spring. Even though we have deer on our property, we're very careful and have never found any ticks on us or in the house.

Our side of the street used to be a farm, so the deer were here before us.

A typical suburban scenario!