While Lyme disease is most prevalent in the Northeast region of the United States, there are now cases cropping up all over the country. In fact, 2017 is expected to be the worst year ever for Lyme disease. The reason for this may surprise you: mice.
Last summer, the Northeastern states experienced a "mouse plague" of sorts for a variety of reasons. Studies show that over the past 20 years, the more mice there are in a particular year, the more cases of Lyme occur the following year. Mice are responsible for infecting the majority of ticks with Lyme in the Northeast because they are highly efficient transmitters of Lyme disease, infecting about 95 percent of the ticks that feed on them, and ticks love mice. One mouse can be the host of up to 100 ticks at any given time, so naturally—with the increase in mice seen last summer—this summer is predicted to be a banner year for Lyme disease with all the newly infected ticks hanging around.