The Lyme area has been chosen to participate in a federal program that aims to kill deer ticks and reduce outbreaks of the disease named after this shoreline town.
The program, scheduled to begin next month, will provide 25 specially designed feeding stations that require deer to stick their heads through narrow openings to get at a bin of corn.
As the deer stick their heads in, paint rollers on either side will brush tick poison on their necks. As the deer groom themselves, they will spread the poison to other deer.
The stations will be stocked with corn in the fall and winter, when the corn will be a rare treat that the animals will be unlikely to pass up, and when the ticks try to find winter hosts.
Ticks have a two-year life cycle, so it will take two years to determine whether the program is successful.
The ticks carry bacteria that causes Lyme disease, which can damage the heart and nervous system. The disease, which first exhibits flulike symptoms, can be treated with antibiotics.
The full program is to run for five years, at $400,000 per year.