THE SPRAY SAFE, PLAY SAFE PROJECT
The Spray Safe, Play Safe project is a collaboration between scientists, health educators, and media specialists, as well as volunteer community members dedicated to protecting our families, especially our children, from tickborne illnesses like Lyme disease.
Our project goal is to provide science-based educational materials for families living in tick-endemic areas to help them make informed decisions about dealing with backyard ticks. We present many tools for reducing ticks or reducing one's exposure to ticks, with an emphasis on safe, effective backyard pesticide use for managing ticks.
Why do we need to talk about pesticides? Scientists and health educators are frequently asked about pesticides as a means of tick control. We know that sometimes even the most well-intentioned people can misuse or overuse pesticides, or use ineffective products. posing a risk to themselves, their families, and the environment. Using a pesticide may be one tool that families can choose for managing backyard ticks, but the decision to apply a pesticide should be made only after carefully considering what active ingredients are effective for controlling ticks, how to safely apply pesticides, and when and where to apply them for maximum effect with minimal non-target effects. Navigating through all the pesticide information out there can be tricky. So we have created some educational materials for families that distill what we know from scientific studies about tick management.
The Spray Safe, Play Safe project is comprised of evidence-based tickborne disease prevention materials:
1. Five short educational films about backyard tickborne disease prevention and tick management;
2. A homeowner's handy checklist for understanding backyard risk and tick safety; and
3. Carefully selected resources with detailed information about personal protection and landscape modifications for backyard tick control.
The Spray Safe, Play Safe project was developed by the
Western Connecticut State University Tickborne Disease Prevention Laboratory,
in partnership with the BLAST Tickborne Disease Prevention Program,
and was made possible by a Healthy Communities Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.