Tick Season Off To An Early Start Despite Spring Storms

April 16, 2024

Many of us here in Maine are eagerly waiting for the arrival of real spring. Although the calendar indicated that the season officially began last month, the weather has been unpredictable ever since, leaving us on a roller coaster ride of temperature fluctuations and late snow and ice. It’s hard enough trying to figure out what to wear on any given day, let alone predict whether this crazy weather will have any kind of impact on the tick population in Maine. In today’s blog post, we’ll look at how the weather might influence tick activity and share a few tick prevention tips to help residents avoid these biting pests and the tick-borne illnesses that accompany them. 

maine deer outside of house covered in deer ticks

Recent snowstorms haven’t slowed ticks down

According to the University of Maine Tick Lab, unseasonably warm temperatures triggered tick activity earlier this winter. Unfortunately, the recent heavy snow and ice didn’t really slow them down either. In fact, 150 deer ticks have been submitted to the lab since January and they estimate 40% of those samples are carrying the pathogens that cause Lyme disease.  

Lyme disease is set to be an even bigger health concern in 2024

In an article published on the News Center Maine website, it was reported that Maine saw a record number of confirmed Lyme disease cases in 2023 and experts are expecting it to be an even bigger health concern in 2024. Why is that? One factor, according to the report, is that there has been a large increase in the number of ticks in the nymph stage. More difficult to detect, they are more effective in spreading the disease.  Climate change and a wetter than normal summer last year are also factors for the expanding reach of these pests. 

How to protect yourself and your family from ticks this spring

  • As the temperatures rise and you spend more time outside, remain vigilant for ticks, especially in areas where snow cover may have provided insulation. 
  • If you haven’t already done so, start checking family for ticks after spending time outdoors. 
  • Remove leaf litter, tall grasses, and brush from your yard. 
  • Trim, prune, or remove trees around lawns to let in more sunlight. 
  • Mow the lawn regularly to ensure grass remains three inches or less.
  • Address mice infestations in your home and on your property as they are a favored host of ticks.
  • Avoid tick-hotspots when you spend time outside.
  • Stay on hiking trails and avoid walking through woods or areas with tall grass and dense vegetation. 
  • Wear light-colored clothing so that you can spot ticks more easily.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and footwear that are not open-toed. 
  • Use a tick repellent recommended by your family physician or the CDC. 

Don’t forget to protect your pets from ticks!

To reduce your pets’ exposure to tick-borne illness, follow these tips:

  • Speak with your vet about tick repellents and vaccines.
  • Check your pet often for ticks.
  • Remove ticks you find on your pets right away.
  • If your pets’ fenced-in area or doghouse is located near the edge of the property or under trees, relocate them to a sunnier area away from those tick hot spots. 

Sign up for Pine State Pest Solutions’ seasonal tick control

For the best protection against these disease-spreading pests, contact Pine State Pest Solutions today! Available in Falmouth, Topsham, and Belgrade as well as throughout Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Oxford, Sagadahoc, and York counties, our seasonal tick control consists of:

  • Effective tick treatments that eliminate adult ticks, nymphs, and eggs.
  • Spring service (typically April or May) targeting adult female ticks before they have a chance to take a blood meal and lay eggs. 
  • Summer tick control (typically June or July) targeting tick larvae emerging from eggs and that are actively seeking their first bloodmeal and nymphs that are notorious for spreading Lyme. 
  • Fall tick application (typically September or October) targeting adult ticks that are on the search for a large mammal host to get a blood meal from before winter arrives. 

Can you completely eradicate tick activity?

Unfortunately, no. That’s because you cannot stop deer, mice, and other wildlife from carrying these parasites onto your property. What’s more, ticks can crawl right over your boundary lines and take up residence; your pets might wander off into the woods only to return with these pests attached, or you might even bring them home. 

Since there are factors beyond your control, complete tick extermination is not possible. That’s why our tick control services cover three seasons! Whether they dropped off a host animal or arrived another way, our treatments will exterminate the ticks active on your property and disrupt the breeding cycle. To give you some perspective, for every adult female we eliminate in the spring, we stop up to 3,000 new ticks from hatching – 3,000!

We can help with mosquitoes too! 

For homeowners who are tired of worrying about ticks and who don’t want to be driven indoors by pesky mosquitoes, Pine State Pest Solutions also offers tick AND mosquito control services. Simply put, every time we come out to treat your property for ticks, we’ll address mosquitoes too! 

For more information or to request a quote for seasonal tick control, please contact our locally owned and operated pest control company today! 


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