Keep cats away when Bedford park is sprayed – Nova Scotia News – TheChronicleHerald.ca

By PATRICIA BROOKS ARENBURG Staff Reporter

Tue. Jun 15 – 4:53 AM

Keep Fluffy out of Admirals Cove Park — before, during and after the municipality sprays the Bedford park for ticks.

“The reasonable precaution right now (would be) to not let your cat go into Admirals Cove Park because it would probably get Lyme disease if it went in there,” Richard MacLellan, manager of Halifax Regional Municipality’s sustainable environment management office, said Monday.

“But, for sure, during the spot treatments keep (cats) in during the day or two that we’ll be in there just to make sure that there’s no chance of them getting sprayed.”

The municipality said last week that Braemar Pest Control will spray a pesticide called Dragnet in the Bedford park during the first week of July.

The pesticide contains permethrin, a chemical used in flea treatments for dogs and even in the uniforms of Canadian Forces members in Afghanistan. But various pet websites and even The Associated Press reported in March 2007 that the chemical can prove fatal for cats.

However, MacLellan said there’s “very little to no risk for cats in the area.”

The pest control company will have three people with backpack sprayers walking in the park to spray dense foliage on dry days so the chemical will dry faster, he said.

“They’re spraying right in front of them and wouldn’t be able to accidentally spray a cat.”

And if there are any cats in the park at the time, just seeing the workers “would scare the heck out of any cat,” MacLellan said.

He said he usually argues against pesticide use, but “this is purely a human health issue.”

Some residents in the area have been infected by bacteria-carrying ticks and now have Lyme disease. The inflammatory condition produces flu-like symptoms and joint pain. A recent municipal news release said that while it can be treated, Lyme disease is a serious condition.

“After meeting with the community and members that have been afflicted with Lyme disease, one’s quite motivated to do whatever they can do to help in that area,” MacLellan said.

The chemical spray is only a one-time thing, he said.

The city needed an interim solution as it works on getting approval from the federal government to use deer bait stations to control tick numbers in the park and adjoining Defence Department property. MacLellan hopes they will be in place by the fall.

“We’re just praying that no other residents in Bedford get Lyme disease.”

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