I was recently catching up on local New England news by thumbing through last month’s Boston Globe Sunday Magazine editions when a particular article caught my eye: The deer-Lyme disconnect.
The article primarily focused on why new deer hunting programs aren’t enough to slow the spread of Lyme disease because, while effective at reducing deer populations, they don’t eradicate the ticks which carry the disease. I was intrigued by the article – as an avid hiker in New England, I’m concerned about the rising risk of finding one of these nasty disease-transmitting ticks on me after a day of splendor outdoors.
I was also intrigued by the article for an entirely different reason. As part of a recommendation list for suburban homeowners to avoid ticks in one’s yard, the article suggests “regularly removing leaf litter and clearing tall grasses and brush away from your property,” including creating “a barrier between the lawn and any wooded areas with wood chips or gravel.” Hmm.. sound familiar? If I didn’t know better, I would think that I was reading a checklist for Firewise Landscaping tips!
The article obviously included a lot more information about the disease and scientific findings behind its spread, but I found it worth noting that homeowners should be encouraged by the multiple benefits of a healthy landscape during the summer months. What’s good for your family’s health is also good for reducing the risk of unwanted fires spreading from nearby brush or grass to your house!