Amid Mild Winter, Experts Warn of Tick Activity in Maine

Warm winters can help ticks to extend their season past the fall


The mild winter could be having an impact on tick populations in Maine, according to scientists who track the pesky parasites.

Although deer tick season is commonly thought to be in the fall, warmer weather can extend tick activity into the winter months, coordinator of the University of Maine Extension Tick Lab Griffin Dill told News Center Maine.

Last week, Dill said the Tick Lab got about a half dozen samples. He explained that if the warm winters continue, it may have a big impact on tick populations.

"It's really giving those adults an extra chance to find their third and final host, they're looking for that third meal so that they can produce eggs, they can reproduce, and lay those eggs in the spring," Dill told the NBC affiliate. "So, if they're having an extra opportunity to do that, they're having an extended opportunity, that means more of those ticks will be able to feed and we may see increasing tick populations as a result."

Experts say people should get into habit of checking themselves, their kids and their pets for ticks after spending time outside.

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