Lyme Disease, along with other tick-borne illnesses, has become one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States. Cases have been reported in all 50 states with the greatest number being reported in New England. Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases are of particular concern for residents in the District.
The great majority of ticks can be found in the woods and the area which extends about three yards adjacent to the woods. They are concentrated near stone walls, in flower beds, on ornamental shrubs, and in groundcovers such as myrtle or pachysandra. You can minimize ticks on your property by keeping the grass cut short and planting a deer-resistant yard.
Lyme Disease Prevention
Ledge Light Health District works with citizens, schools, and others in our area to reduce and prevent further cases of Lyme disease in Southeastern Connecticut.
Our program’s educational activities include:
- Speaking with community groups about personal protection measures.
- Maintaining demonstration gardens that show deer-resistant landscaping techniques.
- Distributing Lyme disease information at local health fairs and public events.
- Media campaigns – including newspaper displays, tv/radio public service announcements, pamphlets, banners and signs – that educate the public about Lyme disease and personal protection measures.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A TICK!
Ledge Light Health District accepts ticks that have been found on the bodies of citizens of our jurisdiction. You can bring or mail the tick with the completed Tick Submission Form to Ledge Light Health District to any of our offices, and we will forward the tick for testing at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station accepts all ticks for identification but only tests engorged ticks that have a risk of transmitting the causative agents of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis to a human host. Due to limited resources at the Tick Testing Program and a relatively small percentage of ticks infected, ticks are not currently tested for Powassan virus. However, in view of the potential human health risk, preparations are underway to test ticks for this virus, in addition to the other pathogens.
Please note the following guidelines for tick submission:
- Remove the tick with tweezers or forceps.
- Do not apply oils, soaps, alcohol, etc. to the tick to remove it. Do NOT use tape to ‘hold’ the tick in place. Using these products may delay the testing process.
- After removal, clean the skin area with an antibiotic/antiseptic product.
- Place the tick in a zip baggie (with a few blades of grass if it’s alive).
- Complete the submission form. Mail or bring the tick to Ledge Light Health District, 216 Broad Street, New London, CT 06320. Or mail your submission directly to the lab: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Tick-Testing Laboratory, Slate Building Room 112, 123 Huntington Street, P.O. Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504
- Your tick will be tested at the CAES laboratory.
Results can take up to 4 weeks
- Your tick testing results will be emailed to you.
- If you submit a dog tick, it will be identified as such and will NOT be tested, as dog ticks do not transmit Lyme disease. You will be notified of this decision.
- NOTE: As of January 1, 2006, the CAES lab will only be testing Ixodes scapularis (black-legged ‘deer’ ticks) that have ingested human blood. All ticks will be accepted for identification and degree of engorgement, but unengorged ticks will no longer be tested.