General University of Maine Publications

Document Type



University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Publication Date


Publisher location

Orono, Maine

Abstract/ Summary

Ticks and tick-borne diseases have become a significant public health issue in Maine and throughout the eastern United States. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the US, and reported cases have been steadily increasing throughout much of the state. In addition to Lyme disease, cases of anaplasmosis and babesiosis are also on the rise. Other tick-borne diseases known to occur in Maine include Borrelia miyamotoi disease and the serious but relatively rare Powassan virus. The primary vector of these diseases, the deer tick or black-legged tick, has greatly increased in both population size and geographic range within the state. Furthermore, Maine faces significant threats related to invasive tick species including the lone star tick and Asian long-horned tick, both of which can have serious impacts on the health of humans, wildlife, and domestic animals. There are fifteen different tick species that have been found in Maine, though not all are permanent residents. Some may arrive in the state on wildlife hosts and do not establish viable populations. Other species have thrived in Maine and are now widespread throughout much of the state. The most commonly encountered tick species in Maine are the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), and, to a lesser extent, the woodchuck tick (Ixodes cookei).


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