U.S. Department of Agriculture

Lyme disease research in Howard County seeks best ways to reduce tick populations

Lyme disease research in Howard County seeks best ways to reduce tick populations

Grace Hummell, a University of Maryland graduate school student, plans to wade into tall grasses and scour the edges of Howard County’s woodlands this fall for the common white-footed mouse.

From woodlands to neighborhood backyards, mice are everywhere, and usually unseen, but Hummell aims to capture dozens of them as part of a five-year effort by the University of Maryland and other researchers to figure out how best to reduce tick populations, and, they hope, Lyme disease. Contrary to the popular belief that deer are the source of most ticks that spread the disease, researchers say, it is mice that usually first infect young ticks with the bacteria that causes Lyme.

Once the...

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