PAUL E. WALSH: Deer ticks and the spread of Lyme disease
After watching news clips on TV two years ago and keeping up to date on issues associated with deer ticks, I am very concerned we have a huge dilemma on our hands in Pennsylvania.
It has been said that the tick infestation has not reached western Pennsylvania. That is untrue. I have hunted and fished in Indiana County for the past 35 years, and I have never had a tick on my body. In the past two years, I could not walk 50 yards out of our yard without having at least 40 ticks on my clothing.
I have talked to people who hunt on our property, and the same is said by them. I have kept in close touch with friends in neighboring counties, and the results are the same.
According to one news report, 50 percent of all ticks collected for examination had Lyme disease. and I am told that ticks carry diseases other than Lyme disease. Regardless, can you imagine one-third of the population of Pennsylvania becoming disabled, not able to work and collecting disability?
Can you imagine how devastating this would be to the Game Commission, the Fish Commission and the state parks? If people quit camping, fishing and hunting, there would be much revenue lost in licenses and sporting goods stores, not to mention the insurance companies having to pay out more for deer damage to vehicles because people quit hunting.
Why are there so many ticks now as to where there were none before? It’s beyond me! It’s almost entirely impossible to avoid these ticks, no matter how you dress to defend yourself from these critters. If you are hunting, fishing or camping and get in your vehicle, the pesky critters are then in your vehicle, and dogs can bring them into your home. I feel more research should be put into making a vaccine to prevent this Lyme disease from destroying our lives.
A concerned citizen who cares for all people who love the outdoors,
Paul E. Walsh