"If I can help prevent one child from getting a tickborne disease, it is well worth all my efforts".
Attention, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania! There's a community activist in your midst but he's not organizing voter registration or trying to prevent homelessness. His is a more covert mission fighting an insidious enemy - the blacklegged tick and its potentially devastating disease cargo.
Just ask Kim MacDonald. She can tell you how many customers of Pier Cleaners have had tick encounters.
"I was surprised....shocked," blurted MacDonald when asked to describe customer interest in the tick identification magnets that she and fellow Pier Cleaners staff have been offering to customers since spring. The eco-friendly dry cleaning and laundry service is located at 50 High Street, Wakefield, Rhode Island.
With self-effacing good humor, Barbara Buchan, Ed.D., calls herself "an inept gardener." Prescient might be a better adjective. Seven years ago Dr. Buchan began to notice changes in weather patterns around her Lincoln, Massachusetts, home. She quickly realized that the abundance of acorns and chipmunks in her yard probably had something to do with the deer ticks crawling up her front door.
"Occasionally [I would even find] a tick in the palm of my hand after I had turned the doorknob," Buchan remembered.