Welcome to deer tick season in Maine

This story was initially printed in September 2021.

Summer time could also be coming to an in depth, nevertheless it’s not the top of tick season.

In actual fact, issues are beginning to ramp up because the summer season’s deer tick nymphs are turning into this fall’s adults. Numbers of the Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks will proceed to rise, peaking in October.

Proper now, in line with one of many state’s high tick specialists, the rising grownup deer ticks have loads of firm.

“September is sort of an odd month in relation to ticks,” in line with Griffin Dill, who runs the College of Maine Tick Laboratory. “It’s the time when tick exercise is kind of low, however there are nymphs, immature ticks and grownup ticks all out on the identical time so you might be seeing all three life phases without delay.”

Over the subsequent a number of weeks, Dill mentioned, the numbers of grownup deer ticks will enhance and they’re going to develop into fairly lively as they seek for a mate, discover their ultimate host of the season and lay eggs. It solely stops when temperatures drop beneath freezing for an prolonged time frame.

“They might be out effectively into December,” Dill mentioned. “Over the previous couple of years we now have seen heat temperatures into December and I’ve even gotten experiences from individuals who have picked up deer ticks Christmas Eve or Christmas day.”

If there’s any excellent news, it’s that the canine tick exercise is completed for the season, in line with Dill.

Maine is dwelling to a number of species of ticks, nevertheless it’s the deer ticks which can be of biggest concern as a result of they carry and transmit Lyme illness, a critical sickness that may trigger rashes, joint ache, nerve ache and irritation of the mind or spinal twine.

In line with take a look at outcomes from the College of Maine Tick Lab, about 40 % of deer ticks within the state carry Lyme illness.

Dill urges everybody venturing exterior in Maine to be vigilant and take steps to maintain ticks off themselves, youngsters and pets.

“Within the spring and summer season we’re accustomed to having all these biting pests and individuals are extra on high of it,” he mentioned. “Now because it begins to get cooler and people biting pests are going away, that may of bug spray usually goes away as effectively, simply because the deer tick life stage is actually ramping up.”