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UMaine Cooperative Extension: Insect Pests, Ticks and Plant Diseases


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Respirator Fit Test – January 8, 2018 in Augusta

Get your Respirator Fit Test Done at the 2018 Maine Agricultural Trades Show

Under the revised Worker Protection Standard, anyone applying pesticides that require the use of a respirator, must complete (and maintain a record of) a respirator fit test. Respirator fit tests must be completed with the same make, model, size, and style of respirator that will be used in the field. Prior to respirator fit testing, each applicator must pass (and maintain a record of) a medical evaluation demonstrating they are physically fit enough to wear a respirator.

Join us at the Augusta Civic Center on Monday, January 8, 2018 (the day before the Maine Agricultural Trades Show) to get your respirator fit test done. Preregistration is required. Registration costs $10.

Prior to your appointment:

At your fit test appointment:

  • Bring your medical evaluation clearance form. You will not be fit-tested without it.
  • Bring the respirator that you use in the field. Each person should have his or her own respirator.
  • If the respirator you bring does not pass the fit test, you may have to purchase a new respirator with a better fit.
  • Beards cannot be worn with tight fitting face masks. Please shave before coming to your fit test.

With questions about respirator fit testing or other Worker Protection Standard regulations, contact Amanda Couture or 207.287.2731 at the Maine Board of Pesticides Control.

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference – December 12-14, 2017

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference and Trade Show
Tuesday through Thursday, December 12-14, 2017
Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire

The New England Vegetable and Fruit (NEVF) Conference will include more than 30 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special grower topics. Farmer-to-Farmer meetings throughout the conference will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion on specific issues. There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 120 exhibitors.

The conference is put together with close collaboration between growers and Cooperative Extension from across the region. This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow growers, advisors, researchers, and industry representatives.

For more information and to register, please visit the NEVF Conference website, newenglandvfc.org.

Two cases of Powassan Encephalitis identified in Maine residents

AUGUSTA — Last week, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) was notified of two cases of Powassan Encephalitis. Both cases occurred in adults who reside in the MidCoast area. In the two cases, the individuals became ill in late April and were hospitalized. The cases were confirmed through testing at CDC Fort Collins. Both individuals were discharged from the hospital and are recovering.

Powassan, also known as deer tick virus, has been around since 1958 when it was discovered in Powassan, Ontario. Cases are rare in the US and Maine has identified nine cases since 2000, including these two.

Powassan virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Ixodes (including both the woodchuck and deer) tick. Signs and symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. Symptoms can begin anytime from one week to one month after the tick bite.

“Powassan, although rare, can be serious so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to avoid being bitten by ticks.  Ticks are found in wooded and bushy areas so use caution if you go into these areas,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett. “By following the No Ticks 4 ME approach you can help reduce exposure to ticks and thus lower the risk of disease.”

The No Ticks 4 ME approach includes:

  • Wearing protective clothing. Light clothing makes ticks easier to see and long sleeves and pants reduces exposed skin for ticks to attach.
  • Use an EPA repellent and always follow the labels. Clothing and gear can be treated with Permethrin for longer protection.
  • Use caution in tick infested areas. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and stay in the middle of trails whenever possible.
  • Perform daily tick checks. Check for ticks immediately after exiting high risk areas. Bathe or shower (preferably within 2 hours after being outdoors) to wash off and find ticks on your body. Conduct a full-body tick check. Also examine clothing, gear, and pets.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension office offers free tick identification. More information is available on their website.

For more information on Powassan and other tickborne diseases visit www.maine.gov/idepi and click on vector-borne diseases. A video short on Powassan is also available.

Elias focuses on factors affecting spread of deer ticks, diseases

With the arrival of spring, many Mainers head outside to hike, mow lawns, picnic, and garden. But working and playing outdoors can bring people in contact with deer ticks and tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease.

“Maine in 2014 had the highest incidence of Lyme disease of all the states in the country,” says Susan Elias, a doctoral student at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute.

Midcoast Maine and islands were hardest hit, she says, adding, “We’ve got to get this figured out.”

To help do that, Elias is studying deer ticks and their spread across Maine. She uses data sets and software that simultaneously take into account numerous variables and indicate the relative importance of each.

In addition to milder winters and sufficient moisture during summers, other factors that affect the spread of ticks and the diseases they carry include deforestation/reforestation, landscaping practices and deer management.

“If we just have a better understanding of all the factors taken together, I think we could do a better job of helping people control deer ticks and prevent disease,” she says.

That’s good news for Mainers. In the state, deer ticks carry five pathogens known to cause disease in humans, including Lyme disease, says Elias.

Lyme disease is a potentially long-term debilitating condition that can include facial-muscle paralysis, pain and weakness in the arms and legs, headaches, poor memory, rapid heartbeat, fever, chills and fatigue.

Each year since 2011 in Maine, there have been more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2015, 1,171 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease were reported and, according to a January 2016 Maine Centers of Disease Control report to the Legislature, ages of people diagnosed ranged from age 1 to 95.

Elias’ modeling results are expected to inform decisions about adaptations and strategies, including whether to invest in tick vaccines, as well as removal of invasive plants and deer management.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the “No Ticks 4 ME” prevention techniques: Using an EPA-approved repellent; wearing protective clothing; doing daily tick checks; and being cautious in tick-infested areas. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics; the CDC says it’s easiest to treat in the early stages of illness.

People who find ticks on themselves or pets may submit them to University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick Identification Lab for testing. For more information about Elias, visit extension.umaine.edu/maineclimatenews/researchhighlights.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/23/2015

“Spotted wing drosophila populations have not shown any dramatic shifts in the past two weeks.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for October 23, 2015, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Image Description: Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/13/2015

“Spotted wing drosophila populations are building up in some southern and coastal locations.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for October 13, 2015, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

 

Image Description: Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/5/2015

“Spotted wing drosophila populations continue to hold at high enough levels to be of concern in any fields still harvesting fruit.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for October 5, 2015, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Image Description: Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 9/22/2015

“There has not been a significant increase in spotted wing drosophila populations at most trapping sites this week, and in some locations captures were lower than last week.” “As the temperatures cool down and more rain moves into the state, it is likely that populations will increase.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for September 22, 2015, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Image Description: Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 9/11/2015

“Spotted wing drosophila trap captures have been increasing in most locations over the past two weeks.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for September 11, 2015, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Image Description: Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Sweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 12 – September 11, 2015

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the University of Maine Sweet Corn Integrated Pest Management Newsletter No. 12, September 11,2015, “Pest Threat to Silking Corn Rising.”

Image Description: Sweet Corn


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University of Maine Cooperative Extension


Contact Information

UMaine Cooperative Extension: Insect Pests, Ticks and Plant Diseases
491 College Avenue
Orono, Maine 04473-1295
Phone: 207.581.3880 or 800.287.0279 (in Maine)E-mail: extension@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System