The purpose of this research paper is to determine if the mouse population at the PennyPack Trust is correlated with occurrence of Lyme disease state wide.

Mark-recapture studies of white footed mice, Peromyscus Leucopus, were held at the PennyPack Ecological Restoration Trust in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania in order to estimate the population sizes over six years. The common method of ear tagging has been shown not to interfere with the daily activities of mice, or increase their chances of mortality.

White-footed mice are primary hosts of the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, which is the vector of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in humans. Adult ticks feed and mate on white-tailed deer, then drop to the ground in autumn to lay eggs in the following spring. Larvae hatch in the summer and attach to white-footed mice, which infect them with B. burgdorferi during their blood meal. The larvae grow to nymphs, which live through the winter on the forest floor. One year after hatching, infected nymphs seekvertebrate hosts and transmit B. burgdorferi to them.