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Tick boom coming next year

Dec 08, 2011 12:04 am
Ritchie S. King in The New York Times reports that there will be a record number of ticks in New York State next year, because of the small acorn harvest this fall. “I remember going into areas and you’d get the crunch of acorns under your feet,” said Neil Calvanese, vice president for operations at the Central Park Conservancy says in the story. “And this year, you kind of have to search around for them.” king reports last year oak trees produced 250 pounds of acorns each, while this year it is 25 to 30 pounds per tree. Which means a large field mice population living off the previous year's acorn glut, will die, and the ticks living off of the mice will look elsewhere for blood. “We expect 2012 to be the worst year for Lyme disease risk ever,” said Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. Expect more deer killed on the highway next year, too, the story says, as deer, lacking acorns, will search farther for food. Read the full story in The New York Times.