I saw a piece on the news yesterday about how the tick problem in Maine (exacerbated by global warming) is getting so bad, the moose in Maine are actually getting anemic from losing on average an ‘astonishing’ 5 GALLONS of blood every two weeks. I thought, I must have heard that wrong, right? Right?
So I googled and found this NY Times article saying that researchers are finding 47,000 ticks ON AVERAGE on every moose they examined. Upper limit was 100, 000 on a young moose they found already dead of blood loss (shuddering in horror).
Ticks, ugh. I hate those little f*ckrs. There’s been talk of exterminating mosquitoes permanently. Can we please do the same with ticks? Are they that critical to the environmental food chain? Screw it, wipe ‘em out anyway. Yeah, I know, the real root of the problem is global warming, but like that’s going to ever get fixed
That articles three years old, but it’s clearly still a problem. Maine is upping hunting permits in the attempt to thin the ticks’ food supply, but I don’t know, that seems slow. What they need is a guinea fowl breeding program!
That article may be old, but the news segment I saw yesterday on the Today Show where they said moose are losing on average 5 gallons of blood every 2 weeks was from yesterday. How much freakin’ blood does a moose even have in it anyway?
ETA: 32 liters, so around 8 1/2 gallons. Thank you google. So moose are losing more than 1/2 their entire blood volume every 2 weeks? Is that possible? I imagine being herbivores it must be difficult to replenish the iron.
When I was a volunteer FF, we went to numerous car/moose collisions. Being so tall, the body of the moose usually comes through the windshield. When we would extricate the driver, he or she and the entire front seat would usually be crawling with ticks.
I live in New England, and I’m half-heartedly looking for a new house. One thing not on my must have list? A big yard. Between the mosquitos and the ticks, I feel very little inclination to spend much time outside. I’ve already gotten Lyme disease, I don’t want eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) or west nile or anaplasmosis or babesiosis or powassan too.
Add me to the list of people who’d throw a party if ticks were eliminated.
I live in a small old-school town now and we have no deer normally. The tick population is tremendously lower from my old place which was only 6.5 miles away.
I went from 2 acres with loads of deer to under a quarter acre. All the lots here are on the small side, many only 4000-5000 sq’.
We also have a huge number of crows and seagulls in town. I wonder if they help at all in controlling the ticks. They’re very opportunist eaters and we’re hoping they discover and wipe out the invasive lantern flies.
Maserschmidt is right, Maine really should consider a guinea fowl release to help fight the tick population. These turkey relatives are really good at controlling tick populations and seem to do well and without harm where they’ve gone feral in Central Jersey.
Apparently they’re good eating if you like game fowl.