April 18, 2022
Unfortunately for Maine residents, ticks have been a regular part of our lives for years now. We’ve stayed on paths while hiking to avoid wooded areas where these biting insects hang out. We’ve become experts at inspecting ourselves, our kids, and our pets after spending any amount of time outdoors. We’ve also watched the number of Lyme disease cases associated with infected deer ticks increase significantly over the years. We understand the risks associated with ticks in our state but we still ask the question, are ticks bad in Maine? The answer is yes, ticks are bad in the Pine Tree state and in more ways than one.
So, why are the ticks in Maine bad?
Remember when you were a kid and bad had a negative connotation? Today’s vernacular isn’t quite as straightforward. Sometimes bad means harmful, unpleasant, or just not good. Other times it means something good or even better than good; it can be confusing to say the least. In the context of this post, we’re going to approach this three-letter word in its original context and contemplate just how bad (read not good) ticks in Maine are.
Health risks associated with ticks in Maine
As we mentioned in a previous blog post about ticks in Maine, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Borrelia Miyamoto, and Powassan virus can all be transmitted by infected blacklegged ticks or deer ticks as they are more commonly called here. Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia (spread by infected American dog ticks) are also tickborne illnesses one should be aware of if they spend any amount of time here.
Lyme disease signs to look out for
We realize that we’ve spent more time on the subject of Lyme disease than the other tick-borne illnesses but that’s because it is one of the most pressing health risks associating with ticks in Maine and so deserves the attention. When it comes to identifying the signs of Lyme disease, we’re quite confident most people would know to look for the notorious bull’s eye rash that forms around a bite site. While that is handy to know, it doesn’t always present and it’s one of many signs to look out for.
Early Lyme disease signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle and joint pain/aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Expanding rash
Late-stage Lyme disease signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Arthritis-like joint pain & swelling
- Back pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor sleep
- Memory loss
- Facial paralysis
- Eye floaters
- Blurred vision
- Muscular issues
- Numbness & tingling
- Shooting pain
- Chronic gastrointestinal issues
2022 tick forecast in Maine
While we cannot say for certain what 2022’s tick season will look like exactly, we do know that Mainers are already finding ticks on themselves and others. And from looking at the screenshot we pulled from the Maine Tracking Network website, we see that there have been 237 probable or confirmed cases of Lyme in Maine so far this year – that’s January 1st to April 9th.
In more than one spot on the web, researchers have noted climate change and an increase in deer population could be to blame for an ever-increasing tick problem in Maine as well.
How to protect against ticks and the illnesses they spread
In order to protect yourself and loved ones against ticks when you go outside, we recommend:
- Using an EPA approved repellent (talk to your family doctor if you’re not sure what one to use)
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and other protective clothing when you know you’ll be in an area where ticks are likely to be found.
- Not skimping on tick checks- perform them every day and more than once a day if you vacillate between being outdoors and inside.
- Using caution when spending time in potential tick hot spots, such as wooded areas, tall grasses, dense overgrowth.
- Speaking with your veterinarian about tick preventative for your pets.
To reduce potential tick habitats on your property, we suggest:
- Hauling away leaves, brush, and other debris from your property.
- Mowing your lawn regularly.
- Trimming branches and thinning out landscape increase exposure to sunlight in order to dry ticks out.
Sign up for Pine State’s seasonal tick control for greater protection against disease spreading ticks
In order to eliminate and prevent tick activity on our customer’s yards, locally owned and operated Pine State Pest Solutions offers seasonal tick treatments that consists of a tick application in the spring, one in the summer, and a final treatment in the fall.
In the spring, our mission is to kill all active ticks in what we like to call the redzone – or the 5-10 feet of transition from lawn to woods or fields. During the summer service, we’ll target the tick larvae that are emerging from eggs and that are actively seeking their first bloodmeal. In the fall, we’ll perform our final treatment of the season to eliminate adult ticks that are still active. As we mentioned in Maine Tick Control: A Guide To Seasonal Tick Treatments, this final tick spraying is crucial because it has the potential to prevent up to 3,000 new ticks from hatching the following spring!
Sign up for tick control today and take back your yard!
If you’re ready to stop worrying so much about ticks, Lyme disease, and other issues associated with ticks in Maine, contact Pine State Pest Solutions today to sign up for tick control. Available in Auburn, Cape Elizabeth, and Bowdoin as well as throughout our multi-county service area, our professional tick control services are the ideal way to reduce the tick population and decrease your exposure to tick-borne illness. Plus, we offer relief for biting mosquitoes too! Take back your yard this year, contact Pine State!