Many of us live in suburban areas, or live directly in the country where we share our region with a variety of wildlife, including deer. The reason I’ve picked this topic is because of some misconceptions I’ve recently run into. They are somewhat health related, hence, my reason for writing this as this blog’s topic.
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. The CDC keeps track of Lyme disease cases and the last reported yearly statistics are for 2012. The state I reside in, Tennessee, is abundant with wildlife. It’s not uncommon to hear folks remark how concerned they are that a recent bug bite might cause them to acquire Lyme disease or that they suspect they have Lyme disease due to recent aches or pains. In actuality, 95% of all Lyme disease cases from 2012 were reported from these 13 states:
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Lyme disease is not a nationwide disease. It is concentrated in the northeast and upper Midwest. It is not prevalent in Tennessee or, as you can see, many other states around us. Regional doctors rarely see it.
Here’s another misunderstanding. Lyme disease is carried by ticks, not by deer. And in defense of deer, dogs and cats carry ticks, too, as well as other wildlife. Make sure you have your canine companions properly treated with medication that kills and repels ticks. A tick bite can cause other maladies, even the lesser known disease called Ehrlichiosis.
Another subject regarding deer is the propensity for them to nibble at our shrubs and trees. Bucks even rub their antlers on pine bark causing the tree to look unsightly or stunt it's growth. One measure to prevent deer picking on our landscaping is to buy costly sprays or more importantly, sprays which may be dangerous to our health or even our canine companions who spend time outdoors. Do your health and your sanity a favor. Prevent more yard work and avoid toxic chemicals. Plant shrubs and trees which are ‘deer-resistant.’
Deer resistant plants are trees and shrubs that the deer prefer not to eat! There are many varieties of plants that are resistant to deer browsing because of the plant’s properties such as a distasteful flavor or odor; or small thorns, sharp leaves, or branches. Also, these properties unappealing to deer don’t necessarily adversely impact humans or domesticated pets. Not only can you find lists of deer-resistant plants and trees online, but nurseries, Lowes and other places do the homework for you and sell plants and trees labelled “Deer-Resistant.”
So, there are different types of tick-borne diseases and not all the diseases heavily manifest themselves equally around the U.S.
A tick’s lifecycle doesn’t just depend on deer.
And, lastly, you can avoid chemicals and extra yard work on your property when it comes to deterring deer!
I hope you enjoyed my bi-monthly health blog. Feel free to leave comments below after the recipe and sign up on the right sidebar for new posts to my blog.
For more health pearls, check out my book “Younger Next Decade” on this website.
This is a tasty chicken salad, especially nice on a croissant or small roll.
Honey Chicken Salad
1 ½ cup mayo *
1/3 cup honey
¼ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
3 celery ribs, diced
1 cup sweet dried cherries or cranberries
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
In mixing bowl, whisk together mayo, honey, salt, pepper. Stir in chicken, celery, cherries and pecans.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Yield: 6 servings.
*Use your preferred lower fat mayonnaise
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