Press Herald cites Dill, UMaine research in article on ticks surviving winters

The Portland Press Herald spoke with Griffin Dill, an integrated pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for the article, “Ticks that carry Lyme disease surviving even deep-freeze winters, research shows.” As the weather has warmed, deer ticks that carry Lyme disease have emerged from a hibernation-like state under an insulating blanket of snow and leaves, according to the article. Dill said during the cold snap in late December, when air temperatures hovered near zero for days, researchers found the temperature below the snow was about 30 degrees. He said that despite the long winter, plenty of ticks are being found in surveys this spring. “We’ve been right on par with the past couple of years,” he said. Scientists also point to climate change as a possible reason the deer tick’s range has expanded over the past 20 years to include much of coastal and northern Maine, with warmer winters becoming the norm. The Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough is working with UMaine to study how climate change could be affecting deer tick populations, the article states. The Sun Journal also carried the Press Herald report.