Readers Write: Will quail combat ticks in North Hempstead?

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An open letter to North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth,

I read with great interest a story in Newsday about North Hempstead using quail to cut down on ticks. I applaud you, again, for employing quail as an eco-friendly way to combat the deer ticks that may be present in our town parks, instead of spraying the parks with an insecticide. However, I do have a question or two concerning this quail program and I would very much appreciate it if you would answer my questions.

First, when insecticide is sprayed in a park, the entire park is sprayed (every foot of it) and hopefully, any deer ticks that are present, anywhere in the park, will be eliminated. When Northern Bobwhite Quail are released in a town park, what guarantee do you have that the quail will hunt and eat ticks in every part of the park? I have no idea what the eating habits of quail are, but isn’t it possible that the quail may opt not to hunt and eat in large sections of a park? Or does the town have ways to induce the quail to hunt and eat in all areas of a park?

Next, the 36 quail that will be working for the Town of North Hempstead may still be unhatched in their eggs. According to the Newsday story, they may have started to hatch, June 1. The story mentions that the mature quail may not be released into our parks until early August. Isn’t that a bit late to start the tick eradication program? The Newsday story says that the ticks “are most active in warmer months.” I would include June, July and early August as warmer months. How is the town combating the ticks in June, July and early August, before the quail arrive? There will be many visitors to our town parks during those warm months just mentioned.

And lastly, will you be sure that the 36 quail soon to be working for the town register as Democrats as soon as they pick up their first town paychecks/

Joel Katz

Port Washington

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