Mice infect the ticks and ticks are drawn to mice.
“An individual mouse might have 50, 60, even 100 ticks covering its ears and face,” Ostfeld told NPR.
Lyme disease, which is caused by a bacteria, is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected, blacklegged tick and can cause flu-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If the disease is left untreated, it can cause severe long-term medical problems, the CDC said, but, if caught early, it’s easily treatable with antibiotics.
The disease has spread over the past 25 years from just a small part of the northeast and a tinier area in the Midwest, into most of the northeast, a large part of the Midwest and parts of the West Coast, the CDC reported.
The agency considers is a significant public health problem.