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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A popular plant has now been banned in one U.S. state because it could be bad for human health.

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The Japanese Barberry plant is native to Asia, but due to its invasive nature, it can no longer be sold in Maine.

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Horticulturists say it is preventing native plants from growing. They also suggest that it may also be harming humans.

“They’re definitely a tick magnet,” explains Gary Fish, the Maine State horticulturist.

Credit: CBS3.

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“And they not only are a tick magnet, but they’re a mice magnet. And mice are where Lyme disease is reservoired,” Fish also stated.

Studies indicated that the Japanese Barberry may be fueling the spread of Lyme disease.

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About 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the U.S. every year.

Last year, Maine had about 1,800 of those cases, but experts estimate the actual number could be 10 times that.

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