‘Wondering if anyone else might have noticed this. We’re in the Northern tier of PA, in the mountains of Bradford County, and ticks were *everywhere* last Fall and right through the Winter, into early Spring (cold doesn’t seem to bother them, sadly).
A quick walk with Gracie, our Yellow Lab, would always yield a half-dozen or more readily seen and tweezed ticks crawling on her blonde hair – always headed toward her head of course (I have quite a collection of them soaking in alcohol at this point!). The record for one walk late last Fall was 26 ticks on her! (amazingly, she still tests negative for Lyme)
Anyway, we haven’t changed our woods walking routine, but I haven’t seen even ONE tick in the last 6 weeks, and I’ve been trying to figure out why.
My Lyme-brain is pretty dense, but it suddenly dawned on me just a few minutes ago, as I listened to the sweet songs of a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Wood Thrush, Red-Eyed Vireo, and Purple Finch, among others in the cacophony.
The only variable that’s changed since early Spring: our Summer birds are back!
So I’m led to ask: have any studies been done on the effect of PA’s songbirds on our deer tick population? I’ve been told that Guineas eat a lot of them, but after seeing this, I have to believe that our native songbirds do, too…
Dave’s Repair Service
New Albany, PA