Ticks diminished in summer, still a threat this fall

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 5:55 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) -Ticks and the diseases they carry are still a threat despite a quiet summer.

“As we’ve seen this year and in years past, weather conditions can really play a significant role in activity.”

Griffin Dill is the coordinator at the UMaine tick lab. He says tick activity was high early this year in the spring then dropped off significantly.

“Weather conditions were really conducive to high tick activity in the spring and early summer.”

Then as things turned hot and dry, the summer months saw a reduction in tick activity of nearly 50% from the same time last year.

Even so, the spike in spring activity means this year’s total is still on track to be higher than last year.

“As the mosquitos go away, so goes the bug spray, but ticks are active throughout the fall.”

As temperatures cool, it’s important not to let your guard down for you or your pets.

“I always talk about Thanksgiving and that mid-November time as a pretty high tick incidence.”

Dr. David Cloutier at the Veazie Veterinary Clinic says ticks are still a threat.

“As a pet owner, I would maintain my vigilance. Keep looking. Or if I’m using a preventative, keep using it through Thanksgiving. Keep going until the ground is hard as a rock or we have snow.”

He also recommends getting your pets vaccinated for Lyme given recent advances.

“The new vaccine which has been out probably four or five years is a very clean vaccine, so we see very few reactions. It is, I think, very good at protecting pets.”

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