Ticks and bush honeysuckle

Editor’s note:  Looking for more motivation to get rid of bush honeysuckle?  Or perhaps you’d like to tell your neighbors about the importance of removing invasive species?  Judy Ward shared this article about a study done at Washington University.

Lone star tick waiting for its next meal

Image from Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

WUSTL scientists says suburban influx of deer, invasive plants are affecting human health — from an article by Diana Lutz —


“You don’t have to go out into the woods anymore,” says tick expert Brian F. Allan, PhD, who just completed a postdoctoral appointment at Washington University in St. Louis. “The deer are bringing tick-borne disease to us.”

So, it stands to reason that anything deer like might increase the risk of tick-borne disease for people. The invasive plant bush honeysuckle, for example.

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Early prairies of St. Louis

Editor’s note: You may not wish to read all of this, but just read the part about the area in which you live.  Click map images for a larger version, or email me at brighoff@charter.net for copies of the map you can scale.

At Laclede’s Landing, the foot of Market Street, the belt of timber bordering the Mississippi River was narrower than usual. Prairie began at what is now Fifth Street (Broadway) and extended westward for up to eight miles to include most of today’s city. All this was not true grass prairie. In places it was distinctly bushy or brushy and in others there were scattered trees. In still others, grassy parks and groves of trees intermixed.

Some of Soulard’s plats clearly show that groves of trees (arboleda, in Spanish) occupied sinkhole depressions in an otherwise grassy karst plain. One French habitant testified that “the spot immediately where the town now stands was very heavily timbered, but back of the town it was generally prairie, with some timber growing, but where the timber did not grow it was entirely free from undergrowth, and the grass grew in great abundance everywhere, and of the best quality; but where the inhabitants used to cut their hay was where Judge Lucas now lives (Locust and 13th), and between his house and the cottonwood trees, it being all prairie” (Hunt’s Minutes 1825).

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Grandfather knows best

by Erin Scottberg

A grandpa’s sage advice may be the biggest breakthrough in bug repellent since DEET. Scientists with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have isolated two insect‑repelling compounds from leaves of the American beautyberry plant (Callicarpa americana), a shrub native to much of the southeastern United States.

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