Maine (WABI) With warmer weather comes the annual appearance of some of the peskiest insects in Maine.
“Throughout the northeast, we are really seeing an increase in the number of ticks as well as just their geographic range, where they are found,” said IPM professional Griffin Dill.
Many people think that the cold winter would have chased away the ticks this summer. Folks at the UMaine Cooperative Extension say that isn’t the case.
“The cold winter we had for that spell probably has little to no effect on tick numbers,” said Dill. “Ticks spend their winter under the snow at ground level kind of intermixed with the leaf litter. So they have a couple of insulating layers.”
That’s why it is just as important as ever to take preventative measures against ticks that could spread Lyme disease. Experts say avoid heavy brushes, tall grass, or shaded areas.
“At the very least, wear some long clothing, insect repellent, things like that to really minimize the risk of encouraging ticks,” said Dill.
Humans aren’t the only ones susceptible to tick-borne illnesses. Pets who spend time outdoors need to be prepped for the bugs as well.
“I would say ticks and tick transmitted disease is probably the number one preventable disease that we see,” said Dr. David Monnier, DVM. “There is a vaccination available for dogs that works very well. If you see signs of tick transmitted disease, you know, the joint pain, lethargy, fever, then definitely you would want to bring you pet in.”
“Just because there are ticks around, does not mean that they can't do everything that they enjoy doing whether it be hiking, fishing, gardening, anything like that,” said Dill. We just want them to kind of take some simple precautions and be aware of their surroundings.”