Dill speaks with BDN about protection against ticks

Griffin Dill, an integrated pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article, “How to keep ticks out of your yard and off your body.” Options for controlling ticks include spraying synthetic pesticides, dousing areas with natural plant-based repellents, erecting fences to keep out animals that carry ticks and removing tick-friendly habitat, such as tall grasses and leaf litter, according to the article. “Many people are averse to using pesticides,” Dill said. “All I can really tell people is you have to weigh the risks of tick-borne diseases versus the risk of pesticides. That’s really a personal decision.” Dill said the most commonly used synthetic chemical in anti-tick pesticides is bifenthrin. “[Pesticides] are certainly an effective aspect of a tick management program, but they’re not a silver bullet,” he said. “They won’t eliminate the tick population around a home.” Another method of tick management people have tested out in Maine is keeping free-range chickens and other domesticated fowl, which eat ticks and other lawn pests, the article states. “The jury is kind of out on chickens and guinea fowl,” Dill said. “If it’s a decent-sized yard and you have just a few chickens free ranging, I’d say the chance of them playing a significant role [in managing ticks] is pretty slim.” WGME (Channel 13 in Portland) also published the BDN article.