Why 2017 may be a very bad year for Lyme disease in Rhode Island

An unusually large amount of acorns falling from oak trees in the northeast two years ago fed a population boom of mice last year.

And those tiny mice fed ticks their blood, and transmitted the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

A field mouse, typical of Rhode Island.

Now, scientists are predicting a sharp increase in the number of Lyme-carrying ticks for 2017.

Rhode Island has long had a high rate of the disease, in part because of home expansion into tick country.

Ticks must be attached to humans (or pets) for 36 to 48 hours before the Lyme bacteria can be transmitted. If detected early, the disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics. If left untreated, it can lead to serious heart and nervous system problems. Long-term effects include chronic headaches, stiffness of joints, and speech impairment.

The most common infected tick in Rhode Island, the deer tick, will feed on just about any animal they can attach themselves to. And although they are often found on deer, it’s typically mice that infect ticks with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease (borrelia burgdorferi).

How does Debug stop them?

By treating the “transition zone” (5-10 feet into the woods that surround the lawn) and shaded garden beds, we can reduce your exposure to ticks and lyme disease. This service is provided three times per year (Spring/Summer/Fall). This program is ideal to pair with our mosquito program. We offer package deals when both services are purchased together.

Scared of lyme disease? We are too. Debug offers respected tick control solutions in Rhode Island, Eastern Connecticut, and Southeastern Massachusetts, including major cities like Providence, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Cranston, Warwick, Newport, Worcester, Fall River, and New Bedford. Call us today to schedule treatments: 401-992-9000.

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