Experts Warn Of Lyme Disease Increase In 2017◀ Back To Blog
April 7, 2017
Since Lyme disease first appeared, ecologists have been studying it closely. And, over the course of the last 20 years, they have found that mouse populations in one year can give an accurate forecast of Lyme disease the next year. Well, you may have noticed that we had a bit of a mouse explosion in 2016. If you didn't have a mouse infestation, we're betting you know someone who did. Here are two things you need to know.
Ticks do not start off with Lyme disease; they acquire it.
You have probably heard that deer ticks (black-legged ticks) are the primary tick that people get Lyme disease from but, what you may not know is, these ticks aren't born with Lyme disease, they acquire it. It works in a very similar way to the West Nile virus, which mosquitoes contract primarily from bird species. If there were no birds in the world, it is likely that mosquitoes would not contract West Nile virus.
Mice are an important vector for Lyme disease because it is estimated that 95 percent of the ticks that feed on them get infected. When a single mouse can have as many as 100 ticks, they are incredibly efficient at turning harmless ticks into Lyme disease-spreading ticks. But the bad news doesn't end here.
Mice get into homes.
Mice are drawn to living with humans, especially the common house mouse. Next to your dog or cat, a mouse is the best way for ticks to get into your home. So, while it may be frustrating to find chew holes in your pantry boxes, droppings and urine left in unsavory places, or dead mice on your kitchen floor, your rodent problem could come with a different, hidden threat.
Lyme disease can cause lifelong health problems for your pets and your family. Protect your home with ongoing pest service from a knowledgeable pest professional. Invasive bugs and animals aren't just irritating nuisances. They can be dangerous.
We're not saying that every mouse that gets into your home will have ticks. And we're not saying that every tick you find on your skin will have Lyme disease. But 2016 saw an increase in mice populations in New York. It is wise to listen to the advice of the experts who track Lyme disease and take extra precautions this year.
If you're in our service area, let's discuss the risks, and outline a custom pest plan that will guard your family and your home from all of the many threats pests can pose.