Less acorns two years ago led to less mice and rabbits which led to less ticks getting consumed.
From the article...
"Last year we had a poor acorn crop," explained Susan Gallagher, chief naturalist at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center. "The result is many of the little rodents that depend on acorns didn't survive. So, we have a drop in the rodent population, which include white-footed and deer mice."
"Those mice are the primary hosts for the ticks, which spread disease," she continued. "The ticks need a blood meal, and without sufficient mice to prey on, they are looking for alternative hosts. It's not that they are necessarily in greater numbers out there."
She explained that these hungry ticks are looking for a source of food, and that can include blood from people or their pets.
So you see, mice don't consume ticks. They get eaten by 'em.
Also noteworthy is that it's the mouse
that actually has the disease and gives it to the tick.