Tick Populations Surge in Maine, Prompting Calls for Pest Control

Maine residents are seeking lawn care and pest control services to combat a surge in tick populations, following a record-setting year for Lyme disease cases. The University of Maine is launching a pilot program to better understand tick populations and inform strategies for reducing tick-borne illnesses.

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Israel Ojoko
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Tick Populations Surge in Maine, Prompting Calls for Pest Control

Tick Populations Surge in Maine, Prompting Calls for Pest Control

Residents of Maine are increasingly seeking lawn care and pest control services to combat a surge in tick populations, following a record-setting year for Lyme disease cases in 2023. The University of Maine is set to launch a pilot program this month to better understand the tick populations and inform strategies for reducing the risk of tick-borne illnesses.

Why this matters: The surge in tick populations has significant implications for public health, as Lyme disease can have serious and long-lasting consequences if left untreated. Effective management of tick populations is crucial to preventing the spread of tick-borne illnesses and protecting communities from this growing health threat.

According to the Maine CDC, there were 2,943 Lyme disease cases reported in 2023, with 261 cases already reported this year. The black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick, is the primary carrier of Lyme disease in the state. Ticks can be found in varioushabitats, including leaf litter on forest floors, overgrown areas, and prairies.

To reduce tick populations in outdoor living spaces, residents are turning to a variety of options, including synthetic pesticides, natural repellents, and personal protection measures. Lawn care and pest control services can help manage tick populations by treating yards and gardens. Personal protection measures, such as wearing pretreated clothing that kills ticks or using pretreated tick ankle bands, can also be effective.

It is important to note that different species of ticks can transmit various diseases, and knowing the species is critical to understanding potential disease risks. If a tick is found attached, it should be removed with tweezers as close to the head as possible and pulled straight off. The bite area should be immediately washed, and any symptoms of illness or unexplained rash accompanied by a fever should prompt a call to a physician.

The University of Maine's pilot program aims to provide a better understanding of tick populations, which will help inform strategies for reducing the risk of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. As tick populations continue to surge in Maine, residents are taking proactive measures to protect themselves and their families from these potentially dangerous pests.

Key Takeaways

  • Maine sees record Lyme disease cases in 2023, with 2,943 reported.
  • Ticks can be found in various habitats, including leaf litter and overgrown areas.
  • Lawn care and pest control services can help manage tick populations.
  • Personal protection measures like pretreated clothing and tick ankle bands can be effective.
  • University of Maine launches pilot program to better understand tick populations.