What’s the best way to reduce ticks in mice?

Deer may get the notoriety for spreading the ticks carry Lyme disease, but it’s mice that often inject ticks with the bacteria in the first place, researchers say. In an effort to combat the disease, researchers working with the University of Maryland and Maryland’s Department of Parks and Recreation are trying to capture common white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) in order to track them and determine tick numbers. They’re also testing how various methods to distribute pesticides can reduce ticks, including a pesticide-treated bait box. It’s “like walking through a little mouse car wash,” said TWS member Jennifer Murrow, a wildlife ecologist and an assistant professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Environmental Science and Technology. This past spring, 60 percent of the mice they captured carried Lyme bacteria. Researchers hope the project helps them understand better how different control measures work to prevent the spread of ticks and Lyme disease.

Read more in The Baltimore Sun.

Header Image: ©Charles Homler