Bayer Environmental Science Launches Lyme Disease Prevention Product Nationwide

ANDOVER, Mass. -- Bayer Environmental Science announces the nationwide launch of the Maxforce Tick Management System in more than a dozen states affected by Lyme disease, from Maine to Virginia to Illinois. The product dramatically reduces tick populations and the risk of Lyme disease by treating the primary hosts of the disease - the

field mouse and chipmunk.

In field trials that began in 1999, researchers from the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bayer scientists tested the product

on hundreds of residential properties in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York,

and New Jersey. The results showed nearly an 80 percent reduction in the nymphal

tick populations after the first year and a 96 percent reduction over two years.

Maxforce TMS is the first product since the isolation of the Lyme bacteria

20 years ago that effectively reduces the population of ticks and the spread

of Lyme disease, by interrupting the cycle of the disease.

"Five years ago we partnered with the CDC to develop and test a product

that would control ticks and reduce the risk of Lyme disease and other tick-

borne infections," said Chuck Cole, marketing manager for the Maxforce Tick

Management System. "The product has withstood the test of time. It's a great

example of how a public-private collaborative effort can address a public

health issue and make a positive impact on people's lives."

"Before the trials, we were constantly doing tick checks and removing

attached deer ticks from the children and from ourselves," said Lesley Trevor,

a Connecticut homeowner who participated in the field trials. "Now we still

do a nightly tick check, but we rarely, if ever, find a tick on the children,

on ourselves or in the house. The bait boxes have made an incredible

difference in the quality of our life."

According to the CDC, more than 23,000 human cases of Lyme disease were

recorded in 2002, with an estimated 9 out of 10 cases going unreported. Once

infected with Lyme disease, a person may experience flu-like symptoms and

develop a red rash in the shape of a bull's eye. Because the symptoms of Lyme

disease so closely mimic the flu, it often goes undiagnosed and can lead to

more serious health problems if left untreated.

Contrary to popular belief, small rodents, not deer, are responsible for

transmitting the Lyme disease bacteria to ticks. By treating the rodents in

and around residential properties, Maxforce TMS gets to the root of the

problem and breaks the cycle of Lyme disease.

Hatched disease-free, ticks feed off small rodents in their first (larval)

stage of life, when many are infected with Lyme disease and other tick-borne

infections. Now carrying the bacteria, ticks in the second (nymphal) stage

feed once again, mainly on rodents but also on humans. The danger is that

ticks in this second stage are very small and therefore, not easily detected

and removed. This makes the chances of contracting Lyme disease and other

tick-borne infections greater for humans.

"The Maxforce Tick Management System kills ticks during the critical

larval and nymphal stages when they contract the Lyme bacteria and other tick-

borne infections from small rodents," said Cole.

More than 75 percent of Lyme disease cases are contracted within 100 feet of the

home. The Maxforce Tick Management System consists of a small, child-

resistant box with an insecticide. Boxes are placed around the perimeter of

residential properties to control the ticks that live on small rodents. The

Maxforce Tick Management System works by treating mice and chipmunks that

enter each box with a small dose of insecticide. If left untreated, a typical

field mouse can carry more than 150 ticks during peak tick-activity periods,

and all of these ticks have the potential to infect people with Lyme disease

and other tick-borne infections. The active ingredient in the insecticide --

fipronil -- is one of the world's leading insecticides, often used in flea and

tick control products for pets.

The Maxforce Tick Management System has received federal approval and is

currently registered in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware,

Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New

Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Additional states are expected to register the product in coming months.

Source: Bayer Environmental Science

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