White-tailed deer have long resided in Massachusetts, however, the number has varied greatly over the years and still vary quite a bit from one part of the state to the next. Mass.gov reports that while in northwestern Massachusetts there are approximately 10-15 deer per square mile, in eastern Mass there are as many as 80 per square mile. Another source tells us that in 1930 the whitetail deer population in the US was a mere 300,000 compared to the present 30 million, taking the ideal number of deer per kilometer from 8 to the present 100.
CAUSES OF DEER OVERPOPULATION
So yes, there are too many deer, but why? The main cause is lack of predators. Cougars, wolves, mountain lions… they simply don’t exist in the US in the numbers that they once did. Their habitat has grown smaller and smaller, however, this same deforestation that has driven out the predator actually suits the deer better. Deer thrive at the edge of forests and roadways and newly planted lawns. Hunting or lack thereof has also become a problem here in eastern Massachusetts. Mass.gov tells us that laws restricting firearms and lack of land access is a major contributor to overpopulation in Central Massachusetts and the North Shore.
PROBLEMS OVERPOPULATION CAUSES
Too many deer, so what? Well as stated above, the number of deer is truly more than the land can sustain. This damages the health of forestation and negatively affects other plants and animals in their efforts to survive as well. Deer also feed on our crops and our landscaping causing a financial burden. They cause car wrecks that directly affect human safety. And finally, an issue that we at Mosquito Squad of Central Mass and the North Shore are most interested in, white-tail deer carry ticks and ticks carry Lyme disease to epidemic proportion in the northeast.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
There is an idea out there and it is ready to come to a vote. Lengthening bow hunting season.
MassWildlife is suggesting a two-week expansion of the season in the eastern hunting zones where the population issues are the worst. Scientific research supports the idea that the elimination of more deer will reduce the number of disease-carrying ticks and lower the number of Lyme disease instances. And moreover, its a cost-free solution to the state and the use of a renewable resource, as deer meat is an excellent and healthy food source.
So what do you think? Do you feel as if lengthening the amount of time hunters can pursue the whitetail deer will help with the fight against Lyme disease? Does the idea that fewer deer means fewer ticks which means fewer instances of Lyme disease ring true for you? Well here at Mosquito Squad of Central Massachusetts and Mosquito Squad of the North Shore we are very interested in following this and are hopeful for positive results. The health of our customers is important to us so we are always following the work done to eradicate Lyme disease. Here on the individual homefront, we are interested in keeping your family protected one yard at a time. Call us today and let’s talk about the best plan fight the tick population at your home. We look forward to the opportunity to tell you about our solutions.