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Reduce the Risk of Lyme Disease // Our Favorite Fragrant Shrub is Viburnum Carlesii

Category: Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

The Curious Gardener Newsletter

Reduce the Risk of Lyme Disease for you And your Pets– Recently I met someone at a gardening symposium who is an advocate for reducing the incidence of Lyme Disease through education and planning. She outlines several areas to consider including Mouse and Deer Bait Boxes, Landscaping, Lawn Sprays and Protective clothing. Bug Baffler for Pets Mouse Bait Boxes: Did you know that mice (not deer) are the primary carriers of the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease? The CDC invented and developed a tick control system in a mouse bait box that lures mice in with food, and then swipes them with Fipronil (the same product that is in Frontline for your pets). It doesn’t hurt the mice or the ecosystem, but helps prevent ticks on your property from attaching to mice and getting infected.  Check the website to find out about having these boxes installed on your property. (One study, done in NJ, showed that the populations of larvae and adult ticks declined 90.6% and 87.3% respectively after two years of deploying mouse and deer bait stations twice a year each.) Deer Bait Stations: These are not approved in some states because deer are swiped with a chemical, Permethrin, that kills ticks that attempt to catch a ride but is toxic to some animals including cats. Landscaping:  Avoid plants that deer love to browse on, such as hosta.  Avoid placing your childrens’ playground next to a wooded area.  Lawn Sprays: Organic sprays are available, but not well studied for effectiveness. Nonorganic sprays are proven effective in reducing ticks, but are controversial because they can be detrimental to bees and creatures of the water. Protective Clothing: For starters, wear garden gloves and tuck your pant legs into socks when gardening.  The Bug Baffler company in NH makes protective clothing for people and pets using a patented mesh that ticks, no see-ums and knats cannot penetrate.  For dogs they have designed a jacket that dogs can step into, with stretchy cuffs that protect ticks from crawling up their legs. But unlike the bug baffler for people, which includes a protective piece that goes over your head, the whole dog cannot be protected, so the company advises checking your pet for ticks after a walk outdoors. For more ways the individual property owner can manage tick populations click here.

Fragrant Viburnum Carlesii– 

Blossom on Dorian’s new Viburnum carlesii

This popular cultivar, hardy to zone 5, is considered one of the most pleasingly fragrant spring-flowering shrubs. I planted a 4-foot tall shrub in a location close to the house so we can enjoy the fragrance every time we open the back door, walk onto the deck or go onto the screened porch. When deciding where to plant a fragrant plant such as this consider where you spend time in the Spring, and try to take advantage of the prevailing winds on your property. Viburnum carlesii likes sun and protection from winds. Ours gets southern exposure though the house will block the sun very late in the day. For more information follow this link to the Fine Gardening website.vibernum_carlesii

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