Tick Population

Ticks appear to be worse than ever this year. I think back to my own childhood playing outside without a care in the world, and now I avoid grassy and wooded areas like the plague.

My Facebook feed is full of posts about pet owners pulling ticks off their pup by the dozen each and every day. Instagram pictures of ticks lined up one on top of another on a long blade of grass.

The mite bites a reddish dog
Getty Images

Disease Carriers

WGME recently outlined the 5 disease-carrying ticks in Maine.

First is the deer tick the very common and very tiny tick. These little guys can pack a huge punch; Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, powassan, and babesiosis.

Then there are woodchuck and squirrel ticks that can transmit powassan.

Dog ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and taluaremia.

Then there are the lone star ticks. These are the ones that can make you allergic to red meat due to transmitting the Alpha-gal sugar molecule.

Close-up of brown tick perched on green blade of grass against blurry background. Ticks transmit a broad variety of diseases and are harmful to animals and humans.
Getty Images

This time of year is when we should be on high alert, particularly about deer ticks. This time of year the young deer ticks are emerging according to News Center Maine and it's at this stage of development that they're exceptionally difficult to see and thus go undetected increasing the risk for disease.

Because of all of these diseases, it's important to do your due diligence if you do find that you have been bitten.

UMaine Tick Lab

Gone are the days of pulling off a tick and hoping for the best or keeping an eye out for a bullseye. The University of Maine has been operating a Tick Lab.

Here's how it works; visit their website here and click on "Submit a Tick". Fill out the form and your $15 payment for the service of testing the tick for diseases. Or if you simply want to identify the tick you can do so at no cost. Then follow their instructions to mail them the tick in a sealed envelope.

Tick bite
Getty Images

The diseases they are able to test for are Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi disease, Rocky Mountain spotted Vever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia. You'll typically see your results within 3 business days after they receive the tick.

Personally, that $15 is worth every cent and more for the peace of mind it could provide or a roadmap to start a discussion with a medical professional.

Preventing Bites

Nothing is foolproof but here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control to help keep yourself from being bit.

Treat your clothes and gear with products that contains 0.5% of permethrin and use insect repellant that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.

Upon returning home thoroughly check yourself and your clothes and gear for ticks. All the nooks and crannies. Have someone help you with those difficult-to-see areas if possible. Then take a shower.

Stay safe out there!

You're Breaking The Law In Maine If You Have Any Of These Animals As Pets

Stick to the cats and dogs that you know because if you're keeping any of these animals (or animals like them) as pets in Maine, you're breaking the law and could face stiff penalties.

20 of the Scariest Maine Animals to be Watching you from the Outside

A local raccoon became quite the celebrity the other day when he peaked into a home in Cutler, Maine.

The image was more cute and comedic than anything. However, it did inspire this list of the 20 scariest animals a Mainer would not want to see peaking into their house.

Warning, this list is quite frightening.

More From 102.9 WBLM