Regardless of the cost, North Haven Village residents want to stop living in fear of ticks.
That truth was evident to Mayor Jeff Sander following the August 6 Village Board meeting, where about 40 residents and members of the village’s deer and tick committee voiced their concerns about ticks and shared ideas about how to eradicate them.
After months of debate and study—most of which focused on whether the solution should be to cull the deer that attract and carry ticks, or a more costly option of spraying the deer with permethrin, a chemical that kills ticks, as the deer feed at stations—the solution appears to be implementing a mix of both programs.
The new plan, according to the mayor, is to permit professional hunters to thin the herd in the fall and the introduction of a law in October that will allow residents to apply for temporary hunting permits. The village also will purchase the feeding stations, which cost about $5,000 each, from the 4-Poster company and deploy them throughout the village. The village also intends to apply for state funding to help offset the costs of the program. It is unclear how many feeding stations would be needed.
In the past, Mr. Sander has been reluctant to endorse the 4-Poster program because he believes it is too expensive and does not address the growing deer population. In an interview last month, he said, “You get rid of the deer, you get rid of the ticks. You are still just feeding the deer [with the 4-Poster program], which is the root of the problem. They’ll keep coming back.”
But after last week’s meeting, Mr. Sander said he is open to the idea if it is part of a larger plan that includes the culling of deer. He said the plan is to start introducing the feeding stations this fall and winter, even if residents have to pay higher taxes.
“Everyone at the meeting said they were willing to spend the money and pay for these things through their taxes, because they are already spending so much money on prevention and treatment of tick bites,” Mr. Sander said. “We are talking about a couple of hundred dollars per family and if we can really make a difference, it is well worth it.”
The 4-Poster program is currently being utilized on Shelter Island at a cost of about $5,000 per unit, according to Jen Zacha, a member of the Shelter Island Deer and Tick Committee. She explained that the ideal rate of deployment would be one unit for every 40 acres.