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Why we are having a tick epidemic


Stashed in: Science, Bugs!

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2012 is gonna be a big one for ticks. Plan accordingly.

This is a horrifying thought:

Two years ago we had a huge boom in the acorn crop which led to a huge boom in the white-footed mouse population last year. This in turn led to a huge boom in tick larvae. But this year is apparently a really bad year for acorns and so the mouse population is crashing and the tick larvae, now ready for the next stage of life, are going to have to look elsewhere for their big meal. That means lots of hungry ticks hanging out in the woods.

I'm staying out of the woods, man.

I think it would more likely mean lots of emaciated mice covered in ticks...

Even more reason to avoid the woods: ravenous mice!

Let them eat mice:

Other rather gross facts about ticks include that they only eat three times in their lives. Once as larvae (baby ticks) when they use a small host (like the white-footed mouse) and then again a year later as larvae when they are bigger and can dine on the mice or larger mammals and finally as adults when they find larger mamamals still if they can and also mate. Each female tick can lay up to 3000 eggs.

Once had a cat who got herself covered with them... like 15 or so. She made little groaning growls as I picked them off, meowed a thank you and licked my face when I was done, then ran right back out into the woods... lol

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