It's tick season in Maine, so make sure to do regular tick checks on yourself, your pets, and your loved ones.

Once again, the experts are saying that it's going to be a very active year for ticks, and that could result in a high number of cases of Lyme Disease. We've already started pulling ticks off our dogs, and checking ourselves for them. Ticks tend to crawl to warm, moist areas of the body, so they're often found in armpits, groins, or hair. But you can really find them anywhere. And because these are often intimate areas of the body, it's a good idea to have someone you're close to check you for ticks (to quote Brad Paisley!), rather than just scanning on your own.

If you find a tick, you can send it to the University of Maine's Tick Lab and they will identify the type of tick, free of charge. Only deer ticks carry Lyme disease, so it's important to know the kind of insect that bit you. In addition, they will store the tick for up to a year, in case you want to send it to a lab that can test if for Lyme.

It's also important to remove the tick correctly. Pest Specialist Jim Dill advises never pulling or twisting the tick. Instead, grasp it firmly, as close to your skin as possible, and pull with an even pressure. Yanking or twisting could result in the head being left behind.

Are you feeling itchy yet? I know I am! For more information about how to prevent tick bites, like wearing long pants, tucking them into your boots, and choosing the most effective deterrents, log onto the website for the University of Maine's Tick Lab.

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