Ticks & Opossums

Since ESA is often in the field we are very aware of the threat of Lyme disease and the prevalence this predominantly tick spread disease is in the Northeast. Lyme disease is the most common tick-born disease in Maryland and the United States and if left untreated could progress to involve joints, the nervous system, and the cardiac system. Here at ESA we do our best to be proactive in prevention as well as in locating ticks within the 24-hour period they need to be attached to transmit the disease. But perhaps ESA should consider adopting a pet opossum.

Research was conducted at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, Illinois in regards to Lyme disease and if certain mammals are resistant to ticks. Different species were placed into cages and covered with ticks. It was discovered that opossums eat or remove approximately 96% of ticks that land on them. For those few ticks remaining, an opossum was less likely to acquire the disease. This can be revolutionary and more research is being conducted to determine why they are resistant. Until then we are thinking of obtaining an office pet.