Creepy Crawlers—More Ticks, Fewer Cicadas

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Dr. John Wallace

It doesn’t surprise Dr. John Wallace, biology, that there has been an increase in ticks around Lancaster County this summer.  “We had a mild winter, and we didn’t get the die-off of deer ticks that we normally get,” said Wallace.

And while the ticks seem to be in abundance, the Lancaster area really didn’t see too many of the 17-year cicada.  Periodical Cicada Brood II, one of the largest, emerged after 17 years underground to mate and die earlier this summer, but Wallace said while Dauphin and Halifax counties had an influx, we really didn’t see many in the Lancaster area.

“When cicada come out, rodents feed on them, so more mice, and then more deer ticks.  The mouse is the host for the ticks and allow them to flourish. The positive thing is that fish benefit from cicada falling into streams,” said Wallace.

Ticks can have several hundred eggs according to Wallace, so they can become pesky quickly.  And if there is a boom in the mouse population by fall from eating all the cicadas, we may see even more ticks.

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