Ticks are tiny, so thorough clothing checks are important. PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF MAINE COASTAL ISLANDS NWR

Tick season has arrived 

BAR HARBOR — According to a press release from Bar Harbor’s health officer, current observations suggest that Maine can expect a very active tick season this year. Residents and visitors should take precautions to prevent tick borne illness transmission. 

One major concern is Lyme disease, which can be transmitted to a person through the bite of an infected deer tick. Symptoms of Lyme disease include the formation of a characteristic expanding rash 3-30 days after a tick bite. The rash is reported in just over 50 percent of patients in Maine. Fever, headache, joint and muscle pains, and fatigue are also common during the first several weeks. Later features of Lyme disease can include arthritis in one or more joints (often the knee), Bell’s palsy and other cranial nerve palsies, meningitis and carditis. 

The Maine CDC encourages people to frequently check for ticks, use repellent, wear light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs and tuck pants into socks when spending time outdoors. It’s also a good idea to shower as soon as returning home from places where ticks live, such as wooded and leafy habitats. 

Reducing exposure to ticks lowers the chances of getting a tickborne disease. While it is good to take preventative measures against ticks all year, be extra careful during warmer months when ticks are most active. 

Dogs and other outdoor pets can get tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for all tickborne diseases that dogs or other animals can get, and vaccines do not prevent your animals from bringing ticks indoors. It is important to do daily tick checks on humans and pets and use a tick preventative product on cats and dogs. 

More information is available online at www.barharbormaine.gov/488/Lyme-Disease or by calling Local Health Officer Michael Gurtler at (207) 288-3329. 



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