April 28, 2017

Maine Forest Rangers Want to Burn Ticks Out of the Woods

It appears that the Maine Forest Rangers are considering implementing controlled burns in order to mitigate the problems with ticks. There are many ticks and kinds of ticks and those ticks carry and/or perpetuate several diseases that are zoonotic – can be transferred from animal to human. The controlled burns, it is suggested, will kill many of the ticks. However, such action would not be an ongoing remedy.

I would suppose, as is most often the case, that while suggesting a prescribed burn to control ticks is something to consider, still missing, it seems, is any discussion as to why it has become necessary to do this. Are there more ticks than ever before? And if so, why? Are there less, more or the same number of ticks as ever but now they are laced with disease? If so, why?

Is it a planned event that the majority of the people population, at least in those regions susceptible to tick-borne diseases, are scared enough that they would be willing to do “anything” to mitigate the tick problem?

Odd, isn’t it? I wonder how many of the people who are scared to death of ticks and wouldn’t hesitate to set our forests on fire to kill the ticks, are the same ones who would give their own lives to save any animal that is perpetuating the tick problem?

Reading the comments from people that go along with this article, linked to above, it appears that prescribed burns, being a tool instituted by man to manage and manipulate the ecosystems, as well as mitigate public safety concerns, is an acceptable tool to use. I ask again, how many of these same people are willing to do “anything” to stop man from managing and manipulating ecosystems to save, protect, perpetuate flora and fauna because they believe “Nature” does it best. Last time I checked “Nature” was also in charge of ticks and the diseases they carry.

Are these people suggesting that Mother Nature works best when it’s convenient for them and not so much when it’s not?

Beyond Lyme: New Tick-Borne Diseases On The Rise In U.S.

For some reason, ticks flock to mice. Other animals groom the bloodsuckers off and kill them. But mice don’t. They let the critters attach and feed on their face and ears.

Ostfeld says he has seen mice with 50, 60, even 100 ticks on their face and ears. “When I first noticed this, it really grabbed my attention.”

Most of these ticks are carrying Lyme disease, Ostfeld has found. Others are carrying anaplasmosis, babesiosis or Powassan. Some ticks harbor two, three or even four pathogens at once.

Theses observations gave him an idea:<<<

New Tick Removal System

“Recently, I got a call from Tom Martin, an entrepreneur from Minneapolis. Martin has a new product that should interest anyone concerned with safe tick removal, not only off of themselves but pets as well. The product is called Rid-A-Tick. Advertised as a “safe and easy tick removal system, Rid-A-Tick is simply an adhesive patch, or medical tape, that you place over the tick while it is still in your skin or your pet’s. The patch, in effect, smothers the air-breathing tick and forces it to back out from your skin. After a few minutes, the patch is removed taking the tick with it. The patch can then be disposed of along with the tick. Or, the patch and the tick can be saved for medical examination if that is called for.”<<<Read More>>>

Kill Deer To Limit Lyme Disease – Moose Ticks? Global Warming

In this article I was reading, it amazes me that doctors, politicians and scientists will argue that if you want to limit the infestation of the ticks that carry Lyme disease, we need to kill or eradicate the landscape of deer.

And yet, moose are dying by the tractor trailer truck load and it is blamed on global warming.

Is any connection being blocked due to political agendas? Probably.

Killing Ticks With Foods Laced With Anti-Parasitic Meds

What could possibly go wrong?

I read an article this morning about how in one area of Texas, where a certain tick carries a disease known as cattle fever. The plan, on deer ranches, is to lace the corn being fed to deer, with this anti-parasitic drug. Hmmm.

One small paragraph in the article states: “The use of treated corn or pellets to control internal parasites in deer is not new, as it has been used by deer and exotic breeders for years. It is not currently legal for use on wild deer, although some ranchers advocate that it should be.” (emboldening added)

In my travels I have heard of suggestions similar to this to kill ticks in deer that cause Lyme disease and winter ticks in moose, that can eventually kill a moose by depleting its blood supply. I don’t believe I have ever heard any serious discussion about this within the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

In a related event, those willing to acknowledge that wolves can carry and spread up to 50 different diseases, viruses and parasites, have suggested some kind of “feeding” program that would address the more deadly of the viruses, such as Echinococcus granulosis and Echinococcus multilocularis.

Some of the problems that should be examined thoroughly before any attempt at feeding wild deer and moose medicine-laced foods, is first to have a complete understanding of why there is a problem, where it comes from and how it is spread. We don’t know this information.

In Maine’s case, where Lyme disease is present, and where winter ticks on moose have become a very serious problem for the animal, there is no consensus that can answer any necessary questions. In other words, it hasn’t even been determined if Maine is growing too many moose and in some places, seemingly coincidental to prevalence of Lyme disease, too many deer. Is it responsible to use chemicals in wild deer and moose, simply because we want to see more deer and moose?

There are so many factors that influence diseases, parasites and viruses, the notion to stuff an animal’s food with drugs to supposedly stop one action, might create a firestorm of other problems. Wildlife managers should know these things and if they don’t, it’s time they did.

Killing Deer to Kill “Deer” Ticks

I was reading George Smith’s article about how the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is making plans within their proposals to draft 15-year management plans for deer, to figure out how the state can manage a “socially acceptable” population of deer and at the same time mitigate the affects of Lyme disease, at a socially acceptable level. Lyme disease is believed by most to be carried by the deer and thus deer have become the target. Because the deer is the target, the controversy comes from three different entities – those who find deer cute and cuddly and want them running all about their land; those who want them available in ample supply to hunt and fill their freezers; those who hate hunters and are willing to kill deer so hunters can’t enjoy their sport.

It certainly does appear that reducing deer populations (to what level I’m not sure there is a standard number due to varying influences and environmental factors) will reduce incidences of man contracting Lyme disease.

The life cycle of the tick responsible for carrying the infectious disease, including all directly influencing factors, is complicated. Perhaps the deer has become the easy target due to a lack of understanding about how to interrupt the life cycle of the tick – more appropriately should be called the mouse tick.

The deer is a host.  This means that an adult tick hitches a ride on a deer for the purpose of obtaining a meal of blood. This is all a necessary part of the life cycle. It is not the deer, however that gives the disease to the tick. The tick does infect the deer, but studies have shown that a deer will “cleanse” itself of the disease and thus is not considered a carrier of the disease.

It’s the white-footed mouse that is the main culprit of transmitting the disease. Once infected, the mouse remains a carrying until death. After the tick leaves the deer, the female ticks hatch all new larvae. The larvae make their way to the mouse, where the Lyme disease is passed to the nymph. As I understand the cycle, the tick larvae cannot have the infection but pick it up from the mouse as it becomes a nymph. The infected nymph grows to an adult and begins looking for a host for another blood meal.

Incidentally, the larvae doesn’t only go to the mouse. It can travel to other rodents and small wildlife, where the disease can be passed to the nymph, which can become an adult tick and begin looking for a blood meal.

It would appear that any interruption or change of this cycle would limit or change the prevalence of the tick. One way that has been tried is to reduce the populations of deer. In places where deer populations are very dense, a serious thinning of the herd becomes a reasonable limitation to tick growth and prevalence. It would only make sense…wouldn’t it?

Have we looked enough at finding ways to control the white-footed mouse? Snakes, owls, bobcats, weasels, and foxes are common predators. Are there changes in these predators and their environment that are effecting the white-footed mouse? Short of the use of chemicals, is the “natural” way of keeping mice in check being interrupted some how? Are changes in our ecosystems increasing, decreasing or having no effect on the perpetuation of the tick and Lyme disease?

Modeling in recent years has suggested that perhaps those predators that readily find the white-footed mouse a prey species, have been reduced in numbers to where they are ineffective at any kind of control over the mouse. There are a couple of difficulties in this presentation. First, to my knowledge, the modeling has not been taken to the field, or, if it has, results have not been made public. Another issue is that “scientists” can’t even agree on what predators consider the mouse’s prey. Some say the fox is the biggest predator of the mouse and some say the coyote is. Some say that even though the list of natural predators of the mouse is varied, there is little interruption of the perpetuation of mice.

I would find it interesting that it appears that the incidence of Lyme disease has increased right along with the prevalence of coyotes. If coyotes regularly eat white-footed mice for lunch, wouldn’t it make some sense that this would tend to reduce the prevalence of the spread of Lyme disease?

The argument is also made that the presence of coyotes limits the number of foxes, therefore, fewer mice are eaten. The theory has been laid on the table that coyotes do eat mice, but live in a more spread out habitat than the fox and so the effective result is that fewer mice get eaten, thus more ticks and more disease. Consider also that, for those familiar with the boots-on-the-ground eating habits of the coyote, an animal that will eat anything, the diet of the coyote includes “snakes, owls, bobcats, weasels, foxes and probably any other creature that, given the opportunity, would feast on a white-footed mouse.

So, depending upon which bandwagon best fits your narrative, will determine whether you want to kill deer, mice, or coyotes. For the MDIFW, their job will, more than likely, end up being a matter of making deer management decisions based on social demands rather than good science. But this is nothing new.

But above all,



Scientism’s Helpful Echo Chambers

I spent several hours yesterday conducting a deeper, forensic search and examination into what most people would probably consider “scientific” pieces concerning Dermacentor albipictus, or what is most commonly known as the winter tick or a moose tick.

Anyone can do some basic research and discover a few pages of information displayed as conclusions about how the moose (Alces alces) is affected by the winter tick – the most of it being anecdotal evidence. In short, it’s a great example of the modern-day echo chamber that results in dreadful conclusions directed at promoting political agendas and non-scientific balderdash.

If you weed out the obvious and repetitious campfire weenie roasts of those who simply copy and paste someone’s work other than their own, you end up with a small handful of documents most are eager to label as scientific research and scholarship.

An honest approach to the existing pieces of work on winter ticks and moose, will find that the majority of the “research” (I hate to use that term) is geared toward how moose act and react when weighted down with the ticks. Very little is actually written or studied about the tick itself. Too much information written comes from assumptions and speculation.

It’s not that each of these somewhat scientific writings don’t contain useful information but the real problem lies in how to understand what is being written and separating it from the damned nonsense repeated in the media and other echo chambers.

An honest examination of each of these reports shows at least two issues that should prompt a legitimate researcher to, at least, ask some questions. One issue is that, like with most “scientific” papers, preexisting and perhaps precedent-setting conclusions, not necessarily ever challenged or questioned, are readily used by “scientists” to plug into their own work, to make it work, instead of doing their own. Problems abound from this approach even though it has become a readily acceptable form of dishonesty – in effect a bastardization of the scientific process.

The second issue, which leads to the real serious problems of dishonest scholarship, is that we read a lot of “we assume” and “it is believed” and “it could have been” – the list is endless of non specific, unscientifically supported, and troubling nonsense. It appears that these types of “conclusions” are often taken by other scientists, the media, or anyone searching for a narrative to fit their cause, as the gospel and honestly or dishonestly omit any reference to unsubstantiated conclusions.

Examining the text of all these studies, we see often where actual experimentation was given over to assumptions or another researcher’s conclusions, often based upon unproven and untested determinations. In one particular piece of work, the text read that “it was assumed” that the conditions “might have” etc.

In conducting such research, I often look for a common denominator. From there, I try to see if such common themes are the product of echo chambers or conclusions drawn from a person’s own scientific methods and precisely what those methods are. This requires patience and determination.

It appears that, from the few existing scientific papers available on winter ticks and moose, I could assess that each scientist or group of scientists claimed that the biggest factors effecting the viability of winter ticks, either after the engorged female ticks drop off the moose in Spring, during the time the female lays her eggs, or climbing vegetation as hatched new larvae, is weather and habitat. That is weather. They do not say climate. They state weather, and give examples of the kind of weather that can, both negatively and positively, effect the winter tick – wind, humidity, temperatures, dry/drought, etc.

This changing weather effects this tick (Dermacentor albipictus) everywhere that it exists. It is readily found in cold climate areas of Canada and Alaska, as well as in warm climates like Texas.

Echo chambers and those with political agendas, cherry pick incomplete information and dishonest conclusions to repeat the non-scientific nonsense that “Climate Change” is why Maine, and other states, have winter ticks. Odd, as well, is that these same mental midgets of mendacity, seem to have drawn their own conclusions that there are more winter ticks now than ever before. I wonder where they got that from?

We know from historic accounts that moose and winter ticks have been around for a long time. There are reports readily available that give anecdotal evidence of periods of time, from 1900 until present, where large numbers of moose have died off and that it was “believed or assumed” that perhaps the winter tick played a role. What does not exist, is scientific evidence that can tell us if the current level of infestation is greater than, less than, or the same as at any point in history. We simply do not know, but that doesn’t stop the Fake News echo chambers, along with many, many fish and game administrators and their assigns, in perpetuating information that may or may not be true.

Oddly, this attitude and approach puzzles me. What is to be accomplished by insisting on dishonest scientific research? I’m sure, with the brainwashing received in our education factories, few new-age biologists would think that there was anything wrong with simply passing bad information after more bad information, if they are clueless to the quality of the information being dealt with. The trouble is, how does this determine responsible wildlife management that we are told is for the purpose of providing the state with a healthy moose population? One can only think there must be something else behind the action – perhaps job security and perpetuation of political agendas, for surely the interest isn’t focused on the animal.

Maine has had moose long before any of us were around, and along with it has been the winter tick. Maine has had winters before and will continue to have winters. Maine has had “severe” winters and “average” winters. Maine has had “mild” winters. All of these conditions persisted over time and will persist into the future. Pulling the “Climate Change” card is too easy and convenient.

We know that the theory of man-caused climate change cannot and will not be proven. Therefore, it just seems a far too convenient an excuse for anything and everything,  providing the lazy scientist with a prostituted answer requiring no work.

I doubt there is little any biologist can do to mitigate the weather and how it will affect the survivability of the winter tick. If scientists would just get off this dead-end road that leads to global warming, perhaps, once again, some sensible scientific research could be put into place again.

I’m not holding my breath.

Severe Winters, Warming Climate, Non-Evolving Moose – All At The Same Time

*Editor’s Note* – Don’t ever let facts get in the way of a made-up newspaper article aimed at selling copies. It is a shame that journalists are nonexistent, replaced by copy and paste robots.

It is no secret that moose are not great “groomers.” Neither are deer when you compare them to a monkey! The clip quoted below got me laughing. I must laugh for I would go insane.

The poor moose. According to this columnist, moose did not “evolve” where winter ticks were prevalent. And just where were ticks prevalent? I’ll guarantee this author has no idea where this breed of tick, the culprit of moose deaths…Wait, wait wait! Don’t panic. The only reason, according to the copy and paste zombies, that ticks are killing moose is because of….wait for it…wait…GLOBAL WARMING! It can never be anything else. It almost resembles a skit with Abbott and Costello.

Forget that the tick that’s killing moose are found world wide. Forget they live in Texas. Forget they live in Alaska. No siree, global warming is responsible for too many ticks and because moose failed to EVOLVE, they are now dying. What the heck? What’s the point? We are all going to die.

The claim here is that ticks have shifted northward…due to climate change. What else?

So here’s a question: The Canada lynx, so named because it lives predominantly in Canada. Maine sits on the southern fringe of the lynx’s range. According to the logic shown here, because the climate is warming, causing ticks to “shift” northward, why are lynx “shifting” southward, contributing to perhaps the largest population of Canada lynx the Pine Tree State has ever seen.

Let’s continue. If we are in the throes of a warming climate in New England, why worry about the moose. All that must be happening is that they are “shifting” toward the north where it is cooler. So, the deer then, that prefer warmer climates, will grow like crazy?

This kind of nonsense can go on forever. Not once, from what I have read, has anyone offered up the most sensible reasons for a dying moose population: too many moose, combined with too many large predators.

Bears and coyotes/wolves love baby moose and baby deer to eat. The coyotes/wolves like taking down a female deer in the middle of winter and eating the fetus out of it alive. I guarantee a bear would do the same thing if it was not hibernating. Instead, not unlike the coyote/wolf, the bear ambushes new-born deer fawns and moose calves.

Most people also don’t realize that if predators kill too many newborns, soon there are not enough of the little guys to replace all the adult mortality and the population begins to shrink. BUT DON’T GO LOOK! Claiming a warming climate is only a couple of words and takes no time at all to type out. AND you will get all the support you need from other brain dead, non thinkers.

I’m not that concerned about winter ticks and moose. I contend there are too many ticks because their are too many moose. When pseudo wildlife managers decided it was best to manage wildlife according to what the social demands were, i.e. more moose wanted for “viewing,” managers might as well have shot the animals themselves.

Instead, let’s put all out focus on fake climate change. I would like to see Northern New England experience some real serious global warming for long periods of time. Life would be much easier and the economics would improve. According to the same copy and paste reporters, spoon-fed by the pseudo wildlife managers, a warming climate will cause a “shift” northward of moose and a warmer climate promotes the rapid growth of deer. None of the three New England states have anything that resembles a growth of deer and the same lame-brain reporters, within the same reports, tell of how long, cold, harsh winters continue to take their toll of deer, while warmer, shorter winters is what causes the ticks.

Am I missing something here?

Moose, unlike deer, did not evolve in areas where winter ticks were prevalent, so they have not learned the habit of regular grooming to remove ticks, as deer do.

This has become a problem as ticks have shifted their population northward. It’s not unusual these days to find an adult moose with thousands, even 10,000, ticks feeding on it.<<<Read More>>>


Blaming Numbers of Deer on Lyme Tick Increase is Dishonest

An online news article states that Vermont now leads the nation in reported cases of Lyme disease. The same report blames this on an “overabundant deer population.” The same report claims that the ideal deer per square mile, in order to “control” ticks, would be 20 per square mile. Other than a few isolated areas, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont don’t have that many deer.

We understand that deer are a source of a “last blood meal” for the ticks’ survival and perpetuation, it is not the only source. Surely, reducing actual “overabundance” of deer populations would contribute to the reduction in tick prevalence and thus Lyme disease infection rates, it appears as though, with information being given that shows low density deer populations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, the deer is becoming a convenient scapegoat. Perhaps there are other agendas at work here.

If the intent is to reduce the prevalence of Lyme disease, how about providing some honesty in scientific research.

More than half of Maine counties are at high risk for Lyme

Lyme disease has tightened its grasp on the Northeast and Midwest, with a dramatic rise in the number of counties considered at high risk, a new government study finds.

The number of Northeast counties where the risk of Lyme disease is at least twice the national average skyrocketed from 43 in 1993-1997 to 182 in 2008-2012, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. That’s an alarming jump of 323 percent.

In Maine, more than half of all counties are at high risk for the disease, spread by the bite of the eight-legged deer tick.

Source: More than half of Maine counties are at high risk for Lyme | Vital Signs