Diane Atwood, a Catching Health blogger, referred to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Tick ID Lab in an interview with WLBZ (Channel 2) about preparing for tick season. Atwood mentioned the lab is available if people want an expert to identify a tick. She also mentioned the lab in a recent blog post titled, “How to recognize a deer tick and protect yourself from Lyme disease.”
Posts Tagged ‘ticks in Maine’
The Portland Press Herald referred to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Tick ID Lab in an article about Maine ticks surviving the long, cold winter. The article mentioned different types of ticks — deer ticks and dog ticks — and stated if someone is not sure what type of tick was attached to them, they should send the dead tick to the UMaine Extension Tick ID Lab at 491 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04473 or call 207.581.3880 for more information.
WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2), Portland Press Herald, Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension has taken over state tick identification from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, which had operated the program for 25 years. UMaine Extension’s Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, which identifies 3,000 plant, pest and insect species each year, will expand its services with the Tick ID Lab. The lab is expected to receive up to 1,300 additional tick specimens this year. Jim Dill, pest management specialist with UMaine Extension, said the lab is excited for the opportunity and is ready for the increased workload.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is the new home of the state’s tick identification program. Portland’s Maine Medical Center, which handled the program for 25 years, eliminated the service last December due to funding deficits.
UMaine Extension’s Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, which identifies 3,000 plant, pest and insect species each year, will expand its services to compensate for Maine Medical Center’s cut by creating the Tick ID Lab. The lab is expected to receive up to 1,300 additional tick specimens this year.
“It’s going to give the people a much better awareness of ticks and how to avoid ticks in the first place. That’s the big thing this portion of our lab will do,” says Jim Dill, pest management specialist at Cooperative Extension.
Last year, Maine had 1,349 confirmed cases of Lyme disease — a statistic that Dill says is increasing every year. By opening the Tick ID Lab to citizens as well as the usual doctors and veterinarians, Dill believes the lab can help provide peace of mind to Maine citizens.
The Tick ID Lab can help clients determine if they need to seek help from doctors. There are 14 tick species in Maine, not all of which carry disease. Dill adds the Tick ID Lab can help determine if the submitted tick is one of the disease-free species helping “ease your mind or the mind of your doctor.”
Tick identifications cost $10 — to cover supply costs — and can be submitted in person, by mail or through photos on the lab’s new website. The site also provides information on preventative protection from ticks, tick biology, tick removal and more.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension insect diagnostician Clay Kirby told the Bangor Daily News that the long, cold winter may not have made a dent in the local tick population.
“I hope I’m wrong,” he said. “But I can’t foresee much of a decrease [in the tick population] just because we’ve had so much snow cover, which acts as insulation. Some years, we’ve had ticks brought into the lab as early as the last two weeks of March.”
Kirby also saw one during a hike in December 2013 in the Orono area. “It was 43 degrees when I stepped out of the woods, and I did an instinctive tick check and I was wearing khakis and found a deer tick crawling up my leg.”
For more information on ticks, visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab’s website.