Why is Lyme Disease More Common in Erie, PA & the Northeast? How Do Mice & Ticks Spread It?

Ecologists are saying that 2021 could be a year with Lyme disease on the rise. People living in the Northeast should be on guard this year as the weather warms up and people start spending more and more time outside, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic still looming with people feeling stir crazy and hesitant to receive to seek medical care. But isn’t Lyme disease always a risk? Stewart Termite & Pest Control is here to talk about why scientists believe this year Lyme disease is a bigger risk and where it is coming from.

How Do Mice Spread Lyme Disease?

You may be wondering how on earth mice are playing such a big role in the Lyme disease problem. Lyme disease comes from ticks. But, have you ever wondered where the ticks are getting the bacteria from? Studies have shown that the key place that ticks are picking up this bacteria is from the mice population. As they feed on mice, they become infected and then pass the bacteria on to us. Studies show that mice infect 95% of ticks that feed on them. Lyme disease predictions are now based on the mouse population rather than the tick population. If the mouse population is strong the year before, you can count on the risk of Lyme disease to go up the following year. Acorns are used to estimate the size of a given year’s tick population because they are food for mice, which ticks like to feed on. Simply put, more acorns means more mice, which means more ticks. Last fall was a huge acorn year so we can expect 2021 to be a really bad year for Lyme disease.

How Common is Lyme Disease from Ticks?

In the 1980s Lyme disease wasn’t considered to be much of a problem. There were a few areas in the states that had a higher risk, but if you didn’t live in Western Wisconsin or between Connecticut and New Jersey, you didn’t really have to worry about it. Now, the number of Lyme cases per year have shot up. Not only that, but they have spread to several different areas in the United States. There are an estimated 30,000 Lyme disease cases reported each year, but the CDC believe that number should actually be around 300,000.

Help Prevent Lyme Disease By Daily Checking for Ticks

In order to avoid Lyme disease, you should be doing daily checks for ticks. Those that live in heavily wooded areas, and know of a tick problem should be checking for these pests each day. Look in your hair and also be aware of any rashes that present themselves. The sooner you remove a tick from your body, the less likely it is you will be infected with Lyme disease. Usually it take about 24 hours to transmit the disease after a tick starts to bite. If there is any sign or symptom that points to Lyme disease seek medical advice as soon as possible for a better chance at a full recovery.

Rodent & Tick Control

If you are concerned about a strong mouse population or tick infestation on your property, it is important that you eliminate it. Stewart Termite & Pest Control can get rid of any mouse or tick problem you may have that will help keep you and your loved ones safe from Lyme disease. Call us today!