The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention urges the public to take precautions against ticks in October and November, when the state typically experiences a second peak in adult deer tick activity.

Deer ticks can carry the germs that cause tickborne diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. These germs spread through the bite of an infected deer tick. Deer ticks are most commonly found in wooded, leafy and shrubby areas, including in areas around the yard. This means most Mainers are at risk of tick bites every day.

As of October 5, Maine CDC had recorded 39 cases of babesiosis, 338 cases of anaplasmosis and 761 cases of Lyme disease this year. Although the number of tickborne disease cases reported is lower so far this year than in recent years, the risk of tickborne disease remains high for humans and pets spending time outdoors.

The most commonly reported symptom of Lyme disease in Maine is a “bull’s-eye” rash. Other common symptoms of tickborne disease include body aches, chills, fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes. Those who experience any of these symptoms after spending time in tick habitat are advised to see a health care professional.

The following strategies can help prevent exposure to ticks and the diseases they may carry:

• Know when you are in tick habitat and use caution;

• Wear an EPA-approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus on skin and permethrin on clothing;

• Wear light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs and tuck pants into socks; and

• Perform tick checks daily and after any outdoor activity.

For information and resources about tickborne diseases:?maine.gov/dhhs/vectorborne; for frequently asked questions about ticks: maine.gov/dhhs/tickfaq.

For more information about tick identification and testing through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab, visit ticks.umaine.edu.