The population that has been affected most harshly by the disease spreading and blood sucking tendencies of ticks are moose in the temperate zones of North America. Moose populations have been dropping dramatically in the temperate regions of North America, even as they remain relatively healthy and relatively stable in the subarctic and arctic. This is because ticks are primarily the problem. Specifically, it is the winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) that is wreaking havoc – lethal havoc – on moose. Ticks are literally draining the life out of moose. They are causing moose to die from blood loss.
Ticks are killing, and have killed, thousands upon thousands of moose in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Five years ago, there were 76,000 moose in Maine. Today there are between 60,000 and 70,000 in the state. In the past five years the number of moose in New Hampshire has been halved, from 10,000 to 5,000. Not only are population loss numbers staggering, but there is another figure equally disturbing. Moose are being found with an excessive and unimaginable number of ticks on them. For example, a single moose in Vermont was found to have as many as 90,000 ticks embedded in it.
Image source: Pete Pekins
Check out this article from NPR for more information about winter ticks surviving warmer climate and killing moose calves: NPR – Winter Ticks Killing Moose Calves
To reduce tick populations in your own yard or on your property, give us a call at ohDEER to schedule a spraying of our ALL NATURAL Tick & Mosquito Repellant that is safe for nature, kids and pets!