What's My Risk of Tick Bites?

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Where You Live in Maine

NORTHWESTERN MAINE

If you live in northern or northwestern Maine you are at a low risk of being bitten by a tick as fewer ticks are found in this area.

CENTRAL AND DOWNEAST MAINE

In central and downeast Maine, the habitat and climate are more favorable to deer ticks.

SOUTHERN/COASTAL MAINE

Southern and coastal Maine areas make up the higher risk zone because ticks are established here.

The risk areas shown on the map were developed from a free tick identification program offered by the Maine Medical Center Vector-borne Disease Laboratory. More than 33,000 ticks were submitted to the lab from 1989 through 2013. The deer tick distribution closely matches that of Lyme disease cases reported to the Maine CDC.

Your Home and Property

LIVING IN A CONCRETE JUNGLE?

If you live in an urban area with few trees and no tick-carrying wildlife, or if you rarely go outside, your risk of being bitten is low.

SOME TREES & SHRUBS

If your property has a few shrubs and bushes, some groundcover, and trees bordering your property, your risk is moderate.

WOODED

If your property is bordered by woods with leaf litter and low vegetation, and particularly if there are deer in the neighborhood, you're at high risk.

The Seasons

WINTER

From December to early March, ticks are typically less active.

LATE SUMMER/EARLY FALL

In Maine, August and September are moderate risk months.

SPRING, SUMMER, MID-FALL

The poppy seed-sized deer tick nymphs are most active in June and July. After feeding, they molt to adults that are active through the fall. Those who do not find a blood meal overwinter and are active through the spring.

About the graph at left: Activity periods of the freely-moving stages of the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). Note: the larvae do not transmit Lyme disease.

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Your Activities

LOVE THE INDOORS?

If you don't spend much time outdoors, or you only go outdoors in winter, your risk is minimal.

SPEND LIMITED TIME OUTDOORS?

Your risk is likely moderate if you and those you live with spend limited time outdoors working or playing. Check your pets; be aware that they may bring ticks inside the house.

LOVE THE OUTDOORS?

If you or those you live with work or play outdoors in areas that are tick-friendly, your risk is high. Check your pets; be aware that they may bring ticks inside the house.