Moose ticks are dining on local deer

Back-breaking work begins after succeeding in hunt
By Mark Blazis
Tufts University infectious disease authority Dr. Sam Telford collects a vial of engorged moose ticks from a local white-tailed deer.Tufts University Infectious disease authority Dr. Sam Telford Collects a vial of engorged moose ticks from a local white-tailed deer.Photo/Mark Blazis

Any time you shoot a deer that’s heavier than you are is worthy of celebration. So I was ecstatic when I dropped a big buck with my arrow last Monday evening. Few events are more exciting than finally getting a deer you’ve worked hard for. But once he’s down, the reality of potentially backbreaking work just begins.  (See link for article)




Besides the ubiquitous moose ticks — also called winter ticks — there were many lice, louse flies and only male deer ticks, which are of no value to Sam’s research. “The female deer ticks must have already engorged and dropped off,” Sam concluded disappointingly.

This article mentions a very practical tip: spraying the area under dead bucks with permethrin or other acaricide right away to kill any females that drop off that could lay 2,000-3,000 eggs infesting your yard.
Hanging deer in the backyard can unintentionally spread ticks and disease.

Laying the ground with an insecticide-sprayed tarp is the answer to this.

Telford states that moose ticks in Northern New England suck the blood of 1st year moose enough to cause over half of them to die every winter. He states they don’t prefer human blood but the native Americans had an expression for them that translates, “bite like fire,” so they evidently DO bite humans!

Moose ticks also typically spend their entire life on one host.

The article states there were abundant, wingless louse flies or keds – which unfortunately Telford did not collect. The female releases her young on the forest floor where they attach to bedded deer, which they feed on almost exclusively.  Again, the article states they don’t care for humans but they CAN carry bacteria and their potential disease threat remains unclear.

Yet, the following articles show THEY DO TRANSMIT TO HUMANS:

It’s truly unfortunate that transmission studies remain in infancy.  The one all the researchers refer to has an inch of dust on it.

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