Tick Troubles

The northeastern United States may see a significant increase in cases of Lyme disease this spring, an expert warns.

The reason is that oak trees produced relatively few acorns this year, part of a normal cycle of boom and bust years for the acorn crop. But the

small crop means trouble for the white-footed mouse, which feeds on the

acorns.

“We had a boom in acorns, followed by a boom in mice. And now, on the

heels of one of the smallest acorn crops we’ve ever seen, the mouse

population is crashing,” Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary

Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., said in an institute

news release.

What does that have to do with Lyme disease?

Mice are the preferred host for black-legged ticks, which transmit Lyme

disease. Black-legged ticks need a bloodmeal at three different stages

as larvae, as nymphs and as adults. As of the spring, the larval ticks

that fed on 2011′s large mouse population will be looking for their

nymphal meal, and with fewer mice around, they will be looking for other hosts.

Your children and pets will become the target of the ticks now.

We provide tick control with our TickTubes. Call now for an on-site consultation on ways to control the ticks in your yard.

616-662-1103

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