During the press conference, The Mayor released a plan for Enhanced Tick Control for Staten Island. The strategy includes:
- Enhanced Tick Surveillance of City Parks: The Health Department will double the number of surveillance sites on Staten Island from 14 to 28.
- Enhanced Surveillance of New Yorkers with Lyme disease, focused on Staten Island: The Health Department will conduct more detailed case investigations of Lyme disease and work in partnership with NYC Parks and academic institutions to better understand risk factors for infection.
- Outreach: Health education and prevention activities on tick-borne diseases will be expanded, increasing awareness and outreach.
- Tick Control: Novel methods under consideration for use next spring include bait boxes, which attract mice. Mice are the primary reservoir of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Once the mice enter the bait box, they are covered with a small amount of the same active ingredient used to control ticks on pets. The Health Department may also use biological pesticide that uses a fungus found in soil to spray on vegetation where ticks look for hosts such as deer, to feed on.
This Enhanced Tick Control program will allow for a way to determine high risk areas in order to target control efforts to these specific areas of Staten Island and reduce Lyme disease cases.
“We understand how serious Lyme disease can be, and while we're seeing cases level off, even one case is one too many,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Today we're committing to doubling down on our efforts and our focus on Staten Island, where we know this disease is of particular concern. We hope New Yorkers join us and do their due diligence to keep themselves safe.”
“My team and I have spent a lot of time focusing on this issue, not because we are alarmists, but because we know the serious medical side effects that can happen from a tick bite,” BP Oddo said. “Borough Hall will not rest until we are doing everything we can to suppress the tick population and reduce the number of Lyme disease cases on Staten Island. This is an issue we need to get better at on Staten Island and in the City of New York, so I am happy to see the announcement of this project on Staten Island.”
The City will increase spending approximately $600,000 a year on this initiative.