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Mar 4, 2014 3:41 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County Tick Control Committee Receives Approval

Mar 4, 2014 3:41 PM

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman correctly predicted clear sailing for the creation of his Tick Control Advisory Committee, which was approved without a single “nay” vote at Tuesday’s meeting of the County Legislature.

Once the committee has been approved by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and its members appointed, it will make recommendations to the Suffolk County Division of Vector Control, which is required to come up with a plan for controlling ticks in the same way that it already controls mosquitoes, the latter of which harm far fewer people on the East End.

Mr. Schneiderman said he did not foresee aerial spraying being a part of Vector Control’s ultimate plan, and that tick control calls for more targeted approaches, such as 4-Poster devices and mice tubes that brush permethrin on animals that carry ticks. Stepped-up mowing schedules and the clearing of trails, as well as controlled burns and education, are additional tools that can be utilized, Mr. Schneiderman said. “There’s been a lot of great ideas that have circulated,” he added.

The committee’s members are likely to include Dr. Scott Campbell of the Suffolk County Health Department, who lives on Shelter Island and thus is well acquainted with ticks, according to Mr. Schneiderman. The legislator also expects that Dr. Campbell will be joined by the following individuals: Dominick Ninivaggi, who heads Vector Control; County Legislator Al Krupski, who chairs Public Works, lives on the North Fork and is “very aware of the issue of Lyme disease”; Greg Dawson, who heads Suffolk County Parks and Recreation; County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer, chairman of the legislature’s health committee; Mr. Schneiderman, who heads the legislature’s parks committee; Shelter Island Town Supervisor James Dougherty, who leads the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association and is familiar with the 4-Poster program; a designee chosen by Mr. Bellone; a representative of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County; a public health professional who focuses on education; and a representative of local environmental advocacy groups.

For the last spot, Mr. Schneiderman said he might push for someone from the Nature Conservancy, or perhaps the Group for the East End.

The committee’s role will be advisory only. The plan is due to be completed by October.

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