Increase in Deer and Ticks in City Brings Health Risks; Mayor Walsh Wants Plan in Place

Apr 16, 2019

Deer and the ticks they harbor are showing up increasingly in city parks and backyards. Mayor Ben Walsh wants reduction plan in place.
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The Walsh Administration proposed spending $75,000 of the 2020 budget to combat the longstanding issue of the overpopulation of deer and ticks on the East and West sides of Syracuse. The effort comes as Lyme disease remains a serious health concern.  


Chief Policy Officer Greg Loh said the city would be reimbursed by Onondaga County. Community members and other state and federal agencies will work together as the Tick and Deer Management Advisory Group to determine the proper steps to address the public safety and health issues.

“He’s asking those folks to work together over a 45 day period to develop a tick and deer management plan for the city. That plan can be submitted to Onondaga County for review and then through the Department of Environmental Conservation as well for review and approval so we can begin to take steps to address the tick and deer population,” Loh said.

Tick and Deer Management Advisory Group will look at all effective options, including possible fertility control, proper landscape management and culling to approach the problem in the city.

“If any culling activities are going to be taken under consideration in the city, it would be completed by trained, experienced professionals whose whole focus is on how to execute such programs safely and effectively,” Loh said.

The Common Council will discuss approval to a revised ordinance to use city property for deer management at their meeting on April 22nd. Before the plan is fully approved it will be reviewed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Tick and Deer Management Advisory Group will recommend a deer and tick management plan by June 1st. They will also be working with the office of New York State Assemblywoman Pam Hunter, who has done extensive work to address the tick and deer issue in the city.