This Parasite Takes A Bite Out Of Ticks

Tiny parasitic wasps, about the size of a pin head, may help reduce the spread of Lyme disease by curbing the population of deer ticks in the heavily infested Northeast. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst released chalcid wasps on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket last summer by exposing tick-bearing mice to the little buggers. The wasps, which attack only ticks, reproduce by laying their eggs inside tick larvae or nymphs. When the eggs hatch, the wasp offspring eat their host before it can reproduce. Ticks collected on the islands this summer indicate that the wasps have established themselves in their new locations.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.