PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Experts say Maine’s long, cold winter has done little to thwart the state’s tick population and the risk of tick-borne diseases.
Chuck Lubelczyk, an ecologist with Maine Medical Center Research Institute, says early counts indicate that the tick population appears to be similar to last year.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there were more than 1,300 cases of Lyme disease confirmed in the state last year, a record high. Lyme disease is carried by the deer tick.
Lubelczyk tells the Portland Press Herald that heavy snows last winter helped protect the dormant ticks. He says it would take about two weeks of below-zero temperatures to hurt the tick population
Experts urge people walking in the woods to take proper precautions to avoid ticks.