March 28, 2012
Scientists Fight Lyme Disease in Virginia With Pink Dye
By Scott Bestul
In the latest —and perhaps oddest— development in the battle against Lyme disease, the Fairfax Wildlife Biologist’s Office has installed special deer feeders at 20 locations across Virginia, The Washington Post reports.
The feeders are equipped with special rollers that will slap a pink dye on the flanks of whitetails visiting for a free mouthful of corn. The dye contains a pesticide that scientists hope will be fatal to the black-legged ticks that transmit Lyme disease.
Whitetails, are one of the primary hosts of such ticks and are a major vector in the spread of the disease. While the dye is toxic to ticks, it won’t harm deer. This pink deer experiment is part of a study, which is expected to last through 2015 and cost $380,000.
While my young daughter would certainly urge me to hunt Virginia in hopes that I’d return with a pink-pelted trophy, fuchsia deer fur is going to remain elusive; the dye is expected to wear off in about four days.