Filming a Television Show

- National Pest Management Association
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Today was anything but an average work day. I traveled to New York City to tape a pest prevention segment for ABC's The Revolution.  It is expected to air on May 14th.  A bug interview is nothing new as that comes with the territory in my role as a spokesperson for the National Pest Management Association, but national TV appearances are particularly special as they offer a platform to educate so many people at one time about the diseases and dangers of pests. 

Pre-appearance preparation included working with the show's fabulous production team who wanted to ensure they had all of their I's dotted and T's crossed in conveying the most accurate information possible, securing live bugs (bed bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks) to show on TV, and of course, selecting just the right outfit for myself. (When show host andProject Runway star Tim Gunn complimented my shirt, I felt validated with my selection!) But I digress. 

Missy on the Revolution

While covering a variety of pests and the health risks associated with them, we spent the bulk of our time talking about ticks. Ticks seem to be "the pest of interest" this season because they have emerged early thanks to the warm weather and they are expected to be out in force this year.  Because of the diseases that ticks can transmit, it's important everyone is aware of things they can do to protect themselves; in fact one of my fellow guests on the show had Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Cat Scratch Fever, all tick-borne illnesses. Today's discussions encouraged me to share some basic tick prevention tips. 

1)     When you will be outdoors in areas likely to have ticks, the word to remember is COVER! Cover your head and cover your body. Wear a hat or bandana.  Wear long sleeves and long pants tucked into your socks. Light-colored clothing is recommended to make it easier to see ticks.

2)     When you return home from the outdoors, inspect clothing and your entire body, including your head, for ticks. Don't forget to check your family members who may have been out with you and/or your dog as well. After spending time in a tick habitat, take a shower because it will afford you the opportunity to thoroughly inspect your entire body.

3)     Wear insect repellent with at least 20% DEET.  Check with your pediatrician for advice on how to protect young children.

4)     To keep ticks out of your yard, keep grass cut low, including around fence lines, sheds, trees, shrubs, swing sets and other difficult to cut locations and remove weeds, woodpiles and other debris from the yard.

5)     Inquire about lawn tick treatments by a pest management professional.  This is especially helpful to focus on the edges of the lawn where it interfaces with natural areas. This method has the greatest chance of preventing ticks from establishing themselves in your backyard.

6)     Pet owners should speak to their veterinarians about preventative tick treatments, as these can help deter pet pests and kill ticks on contact/upon being bitten.

While we are hearing the most so far this year about Lyme Disease which is associated with black legged (deer) ticks, each part of the country boasts disease vectoring ticks so while it's still early by the calendar, it's already into pest season and accordingly, time to begin taking preventative measures against being a pest victim!

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