Blue Heron landscape Design | “Mast Year” of Acorns, Harbinger of ticks to come?

“Mast Year” of Acorns, Harbinger of ticks to come?

01 Dec “Mast Year” of Acorns, Harbinger of ticks to come?

I have been bombarded by questions about the huge crop of Acorns on my client’s properties this year. I myself have seen the same in my own yard. It turns out that this bumper crop (Mast Year),  will most likely lead to a Lyme disease problem in 2012. How can that be you ask? Well, its all explained in this article that was recently published in the Poughkeepsie Journal by Richard S. Ostfeld and Charles D. Canham, scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

According to the authors,

Our research predicts the acorn bumper crop of 2010 will cause a mouse population explosion in 2011, which in turn will result in abnormally large numbers of infected nymphal ticks in the summer of 2012.

So get your repellent ready and remember to check for ticks daily!

Read the whole story on here –

Thank you to Naomi Brooks of Verdant Landscapes, for bringin this to our attention via The Underground!

  • JoeCascio
    Posted at 15:42h, 01 December Reply

    Did the same kind of “mast” year happen with pine trees last year? In the 5 years we’d been in the house, we’d never seen SO many pine cones covering the yard. I mean 10 times as many as any other year.

    • Scott
      Posted at 17:11h, 01 December Reply

      Good question Joe, I have (as well as many of my clients) the same thing. I believe it does happen the same way with many trees, Nature’s way of ensuring survival!

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Karibaskets
    Posted at 15:44h, 01 December Reply

    Who would have thought it? Makes sense though … unfortunately!

    • Scott
      Posted at 17:12h, 01 December Reply

      I sure didn’t think about either Kari, but your right it does make sense!

  • Laurrie
    Posted at 17:11h, 01 December Reply

    Yikes… after a severe bout with Lyme and babesiosis a couple years ago, I’m so wary of going out into the woods and meadows. This article was a great bit of information, very clearly explained. Thanks for passing it on!

    • Scott
      Posted at 17:13h, 01 December Reply

      Double Yikes Laurrie! Hope you have lot’s of repellent, I’d for you to miss out on the great outdoors!

  • Debbie
    Posted at 19:40h, 01 December Reply

    Scott, Thanks for posting this, it’s the first I’ve heard of the link between the two. I’m off to read the full article and then do some more research – my yard is ringed by oaks and I too have a plethora of acorns.

    • Scott
      Posted at 23:48h, 01 December Reply

      First for me also Debbie, we have a few oaks here that have been raining acorns all fall. Our poor dog.

  • Sandy
    Posted at 23:56h, 01 December Reply


    I haven’t read the complete article yet but it is interesting to see the correlation. From a personal perspective this is certainly not great news as our yard is completely surrounded by oaks and pines. Ugh. Maybe we can introduce some natural enemies of the mice to kill them off before their population can grow in leaps and bounds. Any ideas that won’t harm our pets?


    • Scott
      Posted at 08:01h, 02 December Reply

      Hi Sandy!

      A good mouser (cat) is the first thing that comes to mind, although most animals are sure to get bit by ticks also. Another idea, and one I have been warming up to lately anyway, is to raise chickens. They eat ticks and other insects, along with leaving a healthy treat behind. The downside would be the “excess fertilizer” everywhere, if you know what I mean.

      Thanks for commenting!

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