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