It’s deer tick season in Maine
I just received an alert from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) that this time of year is the peak for adult deer ticks. Most alarming, we’re told that, “half or more ticks maybe infected with the Lyme bacterium – as well as other disease pathogens.” MMCRI reports that as many as 13,000 people contracted Lyme disease in Maine last year.
“The great outdoors is what Maine is all about. Just remember to always do your tick check,” said Dr. Peter Rand, senior investigator at the MMCRI Vector-borne Disease Lab.
MMCRI says that this time of year, with dog ticks in hibernation, any tick found in Maine will almost certainly be a deer tick. Feeding ticks should be removed immediately. I recommend the tick-off spoons sold by the Small Woodlot Owners Association of Maine. The spoon has a gap in which you slide the visible part of the tick and then simply lift it out. You can purchase these spoons by calling the SWOAM office, 207-626-0005. You can also order them online at SWOAM’s website, www.swoam.org, in their online store. You get four for $12.
Advice about deer ticks specific to Maine and Mainers can be found on the MMCRI “Tick Lab” website atwww.ticksinmaine.com launched last summer, based on the lab’s 26 years of research on ticks, their hosts, habitats and disease transmission. Information is also available on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension at extension.umaine.edu/ipm/tickid/.