DUCKS, SWANS AND GEESE
Though cute and irresistible, these waterfowl play a key role in the life cycle of any parasite that causes “swimmer’s itch.”
By discouraging unnaturally large waterfowl populations in our lakes, the occurrence of this troublesome skin irritation can be reduced. (See Cercariae Cycle Diagram.)
As inhabitants of our lake community, these waterfowl feed on plants and other aquatic organisms. In turn, they eat the plants and remove a portion of the plants’ nutrients. When excreted, these nutrients support new plant growth. This is a natural cycle. However, when well-intentioned individuals feed waterfowl their numbers increase, and additional nutrients enter our lakes. This process, in turn, increases the swimmer’s itch problem.