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Master Gardeners offer tips for combating ticks

Ticks aren’t everyone’s topic of choice, but they were the topic of a well-attended forum held last Thursday at Brent and Becky’s in Gloucester, sponsored by the Master Gardeners of Mathews/Middlesex and Gloucester.

A number of stations were set up at which people could learn everything from the life cycles of a tick to the diseases ticks carry to environmentally friendly ways to cut down on the pest’s population. There was a tick model to show people tick anatomy and a tick robot that can lay down a trail of permethrin around the perimeter of an area and rid the site of ticks for up to 24 hours. There was even a human-sized tick, portrayed charmingly by a student from Old Dominion University.

Dr. David N. Gaines, an entomologist with the Virginia Department of Health, was the keynote speaker. He discussed some of the major tick hosts, including deer and mice, as well as the biology of ticks.

Dr. Holly Gaff, graduate program director in the Department of Biol...

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