The prevalence of ticks infected with the Lyme disease–causing spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) is greater in areas with Japanese barberry than areas without.
“Deer eat everything but barberry, and because they don’t eat barberry, they’re weeding out forests. They’re helping promote the invasive species,” explains Jeff Ward, chief scientist for the Department of Forestry and Horticulture at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).
Japanese barberry is a popular plant because it’s hardy and drought resistant. Unfortunately, it’s an invasive species that encourages the flourishing of Lyme carrying ticks. (Picture of rash here.) Click on the link above for the full story.