Our Maine lakefront experts are standing by to help you. Views and news about Maine lakes and lakefront homes See why the Mr. Lakefront team provides superior information and unsurpassed service Read the latest news about lakes and ponds across the state Educate yourself about buying lakefront property Find information about hundreds of Maine lakes and ponds Browse available Maine lakefront properties
Maine Lakefront Property
Our Maine lakefront experts are standing by to help you. Views and news about Maine lakes and lakefront homes See why the Mr. Lakefront team provides superior information and unsurpassed service Read the latest news about lakes and ponds across the state Educate yourself about buying lakefront property Find information about hundreds of Maine lakes and ponds Browse available Maine lakefront properties

Maine Shoreland
Zoning -
A Handbook For Shoreland Owners
A "Must Have" for every Maine lakefront homeowner.
Send us your info and receive this free 42 page handbook:
Name:

*Email:

Phone:

Comment:

*required


FREE ISSUE
Lake Living magazine has been described as "the Downeast Magazine of the Sebago Region"
Click here for a free copy of this award-winning magazine!

WEEKLY UPDATES
Keep tabs on news, events and market changes from the Lake Regions in Maine.
click here to subscribe


Maine Fishing Laws and Guide
2013 Maine Fishing Laws and Guide for freshwater fishing
Get your free Guide

Fishes of Maine
Do you know the difference between a Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Brown Trout? Find the info here.
Click here to request your copy

Maine Birding
Free Maine Birding Trail info 82 sites for birding are covered in this 26 page brochure.
Click here to request your copy

Art Museum Guide
The Maine Art Museum Guide gives you information on art museums and their collections in Maine.
Click here to request your copy

Free petMAINE Magazine
petMAINE magazine covers pet friendly businesses and locations in Maine. Get your free copy today.
Click here to request your copy

Ticks Showing up in Force, Prompting State Call to be Vigilant

June 23, 2014 - Maine - The tick population in southern Maine appears to be high this year, prompting a state health official to caution people who spend time outside to be diligent about protecting themselves against Lyme disease.

Researchers who study ticks in Maine say it is too soon to judge if the population actually is shaping up to be larger than last year, but anecdotal evidence suggests the number of ticks attaching themselves to humans and animals is higher. The presence of more ticks puts more Mainers at risk of contracting Lyme or other vector-borne diseases.

“We don’t yet have a handle on how bad it will be,” Lubelcyzk said. “We are noticing the long winter gave a good boost in the arm to ticks that survived to spring.”

The increased presence of ticks in Maine corresponds to a rise in recent years in the number of probable and confirmed cases of Lyme disease.

Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is cautioning Mainers to be vigilant for ticks when they go outside and to request testing if they’re showing symptoms of Lyme disease.

“We know the (tick) population continues to increase and move up toward Bangor,” Pinette said. “We know that Lyme disease is alive and present here. It’s been found in every county and it’s increasing.”

Areas south of Bangor – especially along the coast – have the highest rate of infected ticks in the state.

The national rate for Lyme disease infection in 2012 was 10.6 cases per 100,000 people. In Maine, the rate was 83.7 cases per 100,000 people. Lyme has been recorded in 13 states, primarily in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

Last year there were a record 1,376 cases of Lyme disease reported in Maine, up from 1,111 in 2012, according to the CDC. This year there have been 133 cases reported to the CDC, compared with 264 during the same time period in 2013. Pinette said the lower number in the first five months of 2014 does not mean the number of Lyme cases will decline this year. She expects the number to be higher.

Lyme disease cases in Maine are underreported, she said, often because people don’t see a rash or don’t recognize the symptoms.

“Mainers are really strong Yankee people,” she said. “It may seem normal to be working hard and feeling fatigued or have aches in their joints.”

Those infected with Lyme disease often develop a fever, headache and fatigue, and sometimes a telltale rash that looks like a bull’s-eye centered on the tick bite. Lyme disease is most common in school-age children, middle-age adults and adults over the age of 65. Most infections occur during the summer.

Most people recover with antibiotics, although some symptoms can persist. If left untreated, the infection can cause arthritis or spread to the heart and nervous system.

People who spend a lot of time outdoors are being extra vigilant about ticks this year.

“I just pulled one off today,” Chris Franklin, executive director of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, said Friday. “The surprising thing is the variety of places you’ll find them this year. I’m picking them up in the woods and in fields.”

Franklin said ticks are especially hard to spot right now because they’re the size of a poppy seed, so his first stop after coming in from outside is in the laundry room to change clothes. He said many people seem to have made tick checks part of their daily routine.

Scott Richardson, communications director at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, said he doesn’t worry too much about ticks, but he tries to be cautious when he’s outside. He heeds expert advice to wear light-colored clothing, tuck pants into socks and thoroughly check for ticks every day.

Before walks at the reserve in Wells, staff members advise visitors to do tick checks and walk toward the center of trails to avoid brushing against vegetation on which ticks rest. The reserve has trimmed back brush along its trail system in an attempt to reduce the tick population there, Richardson said.

Joe Anderson, stewardship director for the York Land Trust, said it seems there are more ticks out than normal, at least judging by the numbers he finds on his clothing after being outside.

“It seems like ‘bang,’ all of a sudden instead of seeing one or two, you’re seeing five or seven,” he said. “They’re out and heavy.”

According to the CDC, people bitten by a tick should remove the tick properly, ideally using tweezers or a tick spoon; identify the tick and engorgement level, or length of time the tick was attached; clean the area around the bite; and watch for signs and symptoms for 30 days.

by Gillian Graham, Portland Press Herald

Lakes:
Regions:


Print this story

Email this story

return to Lake News



37 Roosevelt Trail . PO Box 970 . South Casco . ME 04077
Phone: 207-655-8787 . E-mail: info@mrlakefront.net