Two Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station researchers have been spending a lot of time among the barberry. One frequently cited study of theirs links the prevalence of Lyme-disease carrying ticks with Japanese barberry infestations. Another study discusses control techniques including herbicides and propane torches.
Williams, S.C. et al. 2009. Managing Japanese barberry (Ranunculales: Berberidaceae) infestations reduces blacklegged tick (Acari: Ixodidae) abundance and infection prevalence with Borrelia burgdorferi (Spirochaetales: Spirochaetaceae). Environmental Entomology 38(4): 977-984.
Ward, J. S. et al. 2009. Controlling Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC) in southern New England, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 257(2):561-566.