“Mast Year” of Acorns, Harbinger of ticks to come?

“Mast Year” of Acorns, Harbinger of ticks to come?

I have been bombarded by questions about the huge crop of Acorns on my client’s properties this year. I myself have seen the same in my own yard. It turns out that this bumper crop (Mast Year),  will most likely lead to a Lyme disease problem in 2012. How can that be you ask? Well, its all explained in this article that was recently published in the Poughkeepsie Journal by Richard S. Ostfeld and Charles D. Canham, scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

According to the authors,

Our research predicts the acorn bumper crop of 2010 will cause a mouse population explosion in 2011, which in turn will result in abnormally large numbers of infected nymphal ticks in the summer of 2012.

So get your repellent ready and remember to check for ticks daily!

Read the whole story on PoughkeepsieJournal.com here – http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=201011070350

Thank you to Naomi Brooks of Verdant Landscapes, for bringin this to our attention via The Underground!

10 thoughts on ““Mast Year” of Acorns, Harbinger of ticks to come?

  1. Did the same kind of “mast” year happen with pine trees last year? In the 5 years we’d been in the house, we’d never seen SO many pine cones covering the yard. I mean 10 times as many as any other year.

    1. Good question Joe, I have (as well as many of my clients) the same thing. I believe it does happen the same way with many trees, Nature’s way of ensuring survival!

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Yikes… after a severe bout with Lyme and babesiosis a couple years ago, I’m so wary of going out into the woods and meadows. This article was a great bit of information, very clearly explained. Thanks for passing it on!

  3. Scott, Thanks for posting this, it’s the first I’ve heard of the link between the two. I’m off to read the full article and then do some more research – my yard is ringed by oaks and I too have a plethora of acorns.

  4. Scott,

    I haven’t read the complete article yet but it is interesting to see the correlation. From a personal perspective this is certainly not great news as our yard is completely surrounded by oaks and pines. Ugh. Maybe we can introduce some natural enemies of the mice to kill them off before their population can grow in leaps and bounds. Any ideas that won’t harm our pets?


    1. Hi Sandy!

      A good mouser (cat) is the first thing that comes to mind, although most animals are sure to get bit by ticks also. Another idea, and one I have been warming up to lately anyway, is to raise chickens. They eat ticks and other insects, along with leaving a healthy treat behind. The downside would be the “excess fertilizer” everywhere, if you know what I mean.

      Thanks for commenting!

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