Opossums

Use natural biodiversity to fight Lyme disease

Protecting the environment is usually easier to the extent we can link it to human health concerns. The tough federal Clean Air Act, for example, has been driving the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, but the real impetus for the law is the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate that it’s saving more than 160,000 human lives each year.

Lyme disease & opossums

Podcast

Can you guess what animal found throughout the United States is turning out to be an unsung hero helping to prevent the spread of Lyme Disease? A hint it's a marsupial, just like a kangaroo.

Opossums are the saviors of humans against lyme disease — don’t make them roadkill

Many people don't give a lot of thought to some of the forest animals that may be crossing a road or trying to scurry out of the way as a car comes speeding around a corner. Well, there may be a lot more thought given to opossums, now that they have been connected to being the saviors of human beings against Lyme disease.

opossum

Give opossums a break

Serving as inadvertent innkeepers for opossums may turn out to be good for your health. Scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, have learned that opossums act like little vacuum cleaners when it comes to ticks, including those that can spread debilitating Lyme disease to humans and other animals.

Opossums: Where Lyme disease goes to die

Say hello to the opossum, the American marsupial with a pointy nose and prehensile tail that dines on ticks like a vacuum dines on dust.

Four facts about tick-borne illness

Cary Institute scientists have been investigating the ecology of Lyme disease and other tick-borne ailments for more than 20 years. Here are some important tick facts to remember this summer.

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Opossums - killers of ticks

At night, when you catch sight of an opossum in your car headlights, you are allowed to think, "That is one ugly little animal."

Why you should brake for opossums

Podcast

The next time you see a opossum playing dead on the road, try your best to avoid hitting it. Because it turns out that opossums are allies in the fight against Lyme disease.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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