Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Tick season has arrived in Maine
According to Maine.gov, tick season is upon us and basically lasts from now until July. In that stretch, there are two different kinds of ticks to be on the lookout for -- the adult deer tick, which is active from April through June, and the nymph deer tick, which is active from May through July. So basically, it's bad news bears when it comes to tick between May and June, because two different kinds of deer ticks are trying to go all vampire on us and suck our blood.
Deer ticks cause Lyme Disease
While there are different kinds of ticks, the CDC reports that deer ticks are the kind that transmit the most disease throughout the Northeast, and the most common disease they spread is Lyme Disease. Also according to the CDC, Lyme Disease is simply the bacteria that's transmitted through tick bites and causes symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash.
Maine has the second highest reports of Lyme Disease in the country
Not only does Maine outpace every other New England state when it comes to reported transmissions of Lyme Disease, but other than Pennsylvania, we also outpace the rest of the entire country. A recent study put together by Best Value Schools shows that cases of Lyme Disease in Maine increased by 288% in the last ten years, with 121 cases being reported out of every 100,000 people.
The study from Best Value Schools also revealed that other than Connecticut (whose reported cases dropped about 33% in the less ten years), the rest of New England has also been slammed with cases of Lyme Disease in the last decade. In Maine specifically, Maine.gov reports that the highest amount of deer ticks are found along Coastal Maine, with the number dropping the further west/northwest you go.
How to avoid tick bites and Lyme Disease
In order to avoid Lyme Disease, you have to first avoid tick bites. Maine.gov says the best precautions to take in order to avoid being bit by a tick are to wear light-colored clothing and also tuck your pants into your socks (assuming it's not a stifling hot day in Vacationland.) Using a DEET-based repellent on your skin and clothes is also a great way to keep ticks away from you.
Finally, if you're in an area where there's a possible high tick rate (golf courses, ponds, etc), another best practice is to inspect yourself right away when you get home, obviously remove any ticks that may be attached to you, and shower as soon as possible as well. On top of that, washing your clothes promptly helps as well, since heat drying kills ticks on clothing.