If you see an opossum around your neighborhood, you should consider yourself lucky, according to research. Oppossums’ appetites for ticks makes them effective in stopping diseases spread by them, including Lyme Disease.
To survive, ticks must eat the blood of mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians. If infected with bacteria, viruses or parasites, a biting tick poses a risk to human health.
Tick populations are increasing, and they can carry 15 diseases. The medical community has realized that Lyme Disease is often misdiagnosed and that the disease is more prevalent and problematic than previously known. Scientists are now testing ways to limit the transmission of Lyme Disease through natural ecosystems.
A research study compared squirrels, mice and opossums, which all eat ticks, and found opossums were the most effective at consuming ticks. Ticks favor opossums twice as much as the other animals, and opossums are the most effective at killing ticks. Opossums kill almost every tick that gets on them and a single opossum kills over 5500 ticks per week.
So, let the opossums thrive and thus allow them to curb the spread of the diseases spread by ticks.