Acorns signal a bad Lyme Disease Season◀ Back To Blog
December 7, 2011
The Cary Institute located in Millbrook, NY released an article relating acorn production to Lyme Disease.
Every fall, oak trees produce acorns, which provide food for mammals during the winter months. Oak trees tend to have cycles where some years they produce more or less of acorns.
Acorns are a source of protein and fat for many wildlife species like squirrels, chipmunks, mice, deer, raccoons and turkeys. Have you ever located a rodent nest and noticed the acorns? With a large amount of acorns available, mice do not need to move around much during the winter avoiding predators. Since, they are well nourished they can begin their spring breeding season earlier than usual. This leads to a larger population of mice after a good acorn year. As a result, the blacklegged (deer) tick population also increased because the ticks had an abundance of mice to feed on when they hatched. However, this spring those same ticks will be looking for their second meal as nymphs, but a decline in the mice population may force them to find new warm-blooded host - humans.
Researchers at downstate, Bard College discovered newly hatched black legged ticks that feed on white-footed mice are more likely to survive than ticks that feed on any other mammal or bird host. They also found 90% of the larval ticks that feed on mice become infected with Lyme disease bacteria. With this knowledge, they predict 2011 to be a mouse population explosion, which will lead to an increase of infected ticks during the summer of 2012.
Living in the Capital Region and Adirondacks, most homeowners and business can expect a rodent problem especially during the colder months. Lyme Disease and other tick-born diseases are a constant threat living in the northeast New York. Thomas Pest Services is your rodent removal experts and excited to offer mosquito and tick reduction services in the warmer months.