A post of mine from April 2011 describes research connecting the non-native, invasive shrub Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and Lyme disease-carrying ticks. Basically, scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven found that stands of Japanese barberry create ideal growing conditions for Lyme ticks.
You can also read about the scientists’ similar, previously reported research in an April 2010 post.
A sidebar to the article notes the high tick populations seen so far this year in Connecticut. Unfortunately, more barberry leads to more ticks. More ticks means higher risk for Lyme disease.
Do you need a better reason to not plant Japanese barberry and control the barberry that’s invading Connecticut woodlands?