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2017 Predicted to be a Bad Year for Lyme Disease in the Northeast

According to a recent report by Farm Journal’s AGPRO Lyme Disease is predicted to be a major concern for those living in the Northeast. Lyme Disease already strikes about 30,000 people annually so any data that shows the possibility of a spike in the already high infection rate sparks interest.

Last summer’s bumper crop of mice is the root cause of the concern. The Northeast area experienced a huge increase in mouse populations during the summer of 2016. Key states in the region include Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Along with the subsequent nuisance caused by their arrival of more rodents, researchers are now concerned this may spell trouble.

The research was conducted by Felicia Keesing, an ecologist at Bard College and her husband Rick Ostfeld, who is an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. The couple has studied Lyme Disease for over 20 years. One of the warning signs stemming from that research included being able to predict a spike in Lyme Disease based on the counting the amount of mice present the previous year.

Mice, specifically white-footed mice which are prevalent throughout the Northeast, are key transmitters of Lyme Disease. As the article pointed out, “They infect up to 95 percent of ticks that feed on them. Mice are responsible for infecting the majority of ticks carrying Lyme in the Northeast. And ticks love mice. “An individual mouse might have 50, 60, even 100 ticks covering its ears and face”, Ostfeld says. Other wild animals groom themselves, and in turn, eradicate many of the ticks from their bodies. However, the white-footed mouse tolerates the invasion of ticks.

Last summer’s mice increase can be attributed to many factors, including the weather, a dwindling population of natural predators that feed on the mice and even infrastructure changes as part of the Northeast’s growth. The correlation between more mice and Lyme Disease incidence is a simple cause and effect scenario. The mice harbor the bacterium that causes the disease, the ticks feed on the mice becoming infected and then increase the probability of spreading the disease onto you.

The best way to help minimize the risk of coming into contact with the disease is to remain proactive throughout the season. Along with common sense practices, Mosquito Squad of the Twin-Cities can eliminate 85-90% of the ticks on your property with our Intensive Tick Treatment. This entails a combination of our traditional barrier spray that eliminates ticks & mosquitoes on contact and tick tubes which kill nymph ticks, our Intensive Tick Treatment is the best method for Minneapolis tick control.

For a list of common sense tick protection practices to employ when you venture away from your protected backyard, visit our The 6 C’s of Tick-Proofing Your Yard page located on our website.

Avoiding ticks is the best way to avoid tick bites and lower your risk for Lyme disease. Call today for a quote and protect your family from the risk of Lyme Disease the entire season. You can reach us at (763) 434-2483.

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