Japanese Barberry. An Ideal Habitat for Ticks
Home owners in Connecticut might want to inspect their yards for a plant many of us have… It’s known as Japanese Barberry. This invasive bush is contributing to the rise of the tick population as it can help to create the perfect, humid environment for ticks to hide out. Here’s an article with some further information:-
The shrub, which is considered an invasive plant in Connecticut, is being blamed for a rise in the tick population in the state, which in turn is causing an increase in cases of Lyme disease here. That’s according to a recent report from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, which linked the increased abundance of infected deer ticks to the shrub.
Japanese Barberry has been used for many years to help landscape gardens. It grows in a variety of colors and has a high drought tolerance and with its dense branches this plant has been ideal at keeping out the pests, like deer for example. However, it’s proving to have quite the reverse effect.
The study tracked levels of Japanese barberry and blacklegged ticks in six locations in Connecticut. At each, three separate plots were monitored: one with barberry left intact; one with barberry cleared with a combination of mechanical removal, herbicide treatment, and flame treatment; and one where no barberry was present at all. They found that clearing the barberry reduced tick abundance—and abundance of ticks infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease—in the managed plots nearly equal to the levels of the no-barberry plots.
So while these bushes might make your outside areas look more desirable, if you look a little closer you may find that what’s lurking beneath the surface is far from pretty!