Ticks have been a costly burden to the great majority of people who live on the East End, who rack up millions in health bills annually fighting diseases like Lyme and babeseosis. This is not to mention the physical suffering these diseases wreak on their victims: arthritis and joint pain, fevers and, quite likely, memory loss.
And for those of us who hope to avoid contracting the disease in the first place, there is the loss of the pleasure of living here: hiking, bird watching, even gardening become fearsome activities when you wind up plucking clinging ticks from your limbs.
All of this is to say that the residents of North Haven deserve a shot at what appears to be an effective way of reducing the tick population. Village residents on Tuesday implored the village board to take on a four-poster program that has been successful on Shelter Island. It’s expensive — about $1 million, according to sources — but, considering the personal expense of local residents who have dealt with treating tick-borne diseases, probably worth the investment.
Using North Haven as a control, Shelter Island was evidently able to reduce ticks by about 90 percent over four years. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. And one we imagine has Shelter Islanders enjoying the outdoors again.