Small mammal ecology and Lyme disease on Martha=s Vineyard
May 2002 - May 2005
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Martha's Vineyard has one of the highest prevalences of Lyme disease in Massachusetts. We tested the effectiveness of bait boxes, which treat small mammals with pesticide, in reducing the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (disease agent) in small mammals and ticks. Deer tick and B. burgdorferi prevalence decreased as a result of the treatment, thus we have identified a useful technique for reducing the likelihood of contracting Lyme disease. This has important implications for reducing human illness and mortality in the region, and across the country.