Acorn boom risks rise in Lyme disease

If you go down to the woods today you might not find any bears, nor traces of their picnic, unless you are foraging for acorns, in which case you might find a feast spread out on the forest floor.

Britain’s oak trees appear to be in the midst of what is known as a “mast year”, when they produce a bumper crop of nuts, after a series of lean seasons.

But although the crop is good news for rodents, which feed on them, the bad news is that they can increase Lyme disease.

If more mice survive the winter they infect more ticks in the spring, which can go on to bite humans. Up to 3,000 people a year are now infected with the disease…

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