Ticks thriving in Maine's warm fall weather

Uptick in ticks

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The warm October weather has given Mainers plenty of reason to enjoy the outdoors. There is one downside -- ticks -- which are thriving in the warmer than normal temperatures.

Warm, humid conditions are more conducive for ticks to venture up from the ground.

Researchers at Maine Medical Center have been studying ticks and their habits in Maine. They say if you encounter a tick during this time of year, nine times out of ten it will be a deer tick, the type that most often transmits Lyme disease.

While the adult deer tick population usually peaks in the middle of fall, this season's extended stretch of warm weather has meant more days with active ticks.

Hunters, hikers and animals like dogs and horses are especially vulnerable.

Deer ticks are most common in southern Maine, but the population has been spreading further inland and north in recent years.

Climate Central scientists report that especially in the Northeast, changes in climate have likely increased habitat suitability for ticks. 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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