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2018 Maine Tick Outlook

Maine has become well known for it’s tick population. Every year we see an increase in the coastal areas and watch the number of cases of Lyme Disease rise. Dog ticks and Deer ticks are the most prevalent in our state. Dog ticks do not typically carry harmful pathogens but they are a nuisance and cause discomfort for us and our furry friends. The Deer tick is the main culprit in carrying diseases that harm. Marshlands like those in Scarborough, heavily wooded coastal areas like Bath/Brunswick and the lake regions like those in Casco and Fryeburg are the most common habitats. But don’t be fooled! Any cool, dry wooded area can be host to these creatures.

Many believe that the deep freeze we had in January would help control the tick population. Ticks will hide under blankets of snow to remain warm and overwinter. Since we had a nice blanket of snow before the deep freeze, most survived. We at Mosquito Squad of Southern Maine have already heard from many of our customers that they found ticks on their dogs after walking them during the thaw. This is a clear sign that spring will bring another year of tick issues.

In New England, watch out for Male & Female blacklegged (deer) ticks as temperatures rise. Tick activity will increase towards the end of March and especially in April.

It is best to treat for ticks in the spring and fall during their hatching period. We treat during April/May and September/October to achieve the greatest effectiveness. Mosquito Squad of Southern Maine treats with two different methods. We have a proven track record of controlling the tick population. Treatments must be designed to be effective for every life stage of the tick. Many treatments only kill the adult ticks. While effective in controlling numbers, many times doctors and the Center for Disease Control find that the nymph stage Deer tick is the most common culprit in the spread of Lyme Disease. It is a common misconception that the Deer tick needs to feed on deer. Most times, the nymph stage tick is carried on to the property by a mouse or squirrel. The Lyme spirochete is spread from the white field mouse to humans and animals.

As the old adage goes, an ounce of protection is worth more that a pound of cure.

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