Health

Longer Grass Won’t Attract Ticks, Study Finds

Longer Grass Won’t Attract Ticks, Study Finds

FRIDAY, April five, 2019 (HealthDay News) — You now have an excuse to skip reducing the grass each weekend — it is really useful for the bees.

And mowing your garden much less steadily to offer local bees a greater habitat would possibly not result in an building up in disease-carrying ticks, professionals say.

When analysis ecologist Susannah Lerman started urging buddies and co-workers to depart lawns somewhat longer to lend a hand the bees, the “very first thing other folks mentioned was once that letting the grass get longer would invite ticks,” she recalled.

“It was clear that before we could make the case for promoting lawns as bee habitat, we had to understand the tick risk,” Lerman added.

She and Vince D’Amico, a fellow USDA Forest Service analysis entomologist, studied whether or not much less widespread mowing of 16 residential lawns in Springfield, Mass., over two summers may get advantages local bees with out expanding the danger of ticks.

The researchers discovered 111 bee species at the lawns — about one-quarter of all recognized bee species in Massachusetts. They additionally dragged a fabric around the lawns searching for ticks. In 144 tick drags, achieved with grass at quite a lot of heights and mowing frequencies, they did not discover a unmarried blacklegged tick. Also known as deer ticks, the bugs can lift Lyme illness, a bacterial an infection that may make other folks severely in poor health.

The learn about was once revealed on-line April three within the magazine PLoS One.

The researchers mentioned the learn about has some “obvious limitations” — they regarded for just one species of tick and most effective studied 16 lawns in one town.

“Still,” Lerman mentioned, “our study has two significant take-aways: you do not necessarily invite ticks if you mow the lawn every other week instead of every week, and common assumptions about nature are always worth investigating; scientists may be surprised by what we find.”

While there is no doubt that blacklegged ticks lurk in other folks’s yards, a garden is most probably too dry for them, in keeping with D’Amico.

“This species needs near 100% humidity for at least part of the day,” he defined in a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service information unlock. “Where we have leaf litter, the ticks do very well.”

In the United States, about 40 million acres of garden controlled by way of householders, companies, executive companies and cemeteries have the possible to grow to be habitat for threatened local bee species.

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