Grad student’s research shows ticks surviving winter, News Center Maine reports

News Center Maine reported research by Michelle Volk, a University of Maine graduate student tracking tick migration in northern and Down East Maine, that shows ticks survive winter in some areas. Aroostook County is the only Maine county where deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, have not been spotted yet, according to the report. Volk placed tick nymphs in bottles to trap them, and buried the traps in the ground from fall to April, monitoring them in different types of conditions. Three percent of ticks without insulation from leaf cover survived, while 90 percent of the insulated ones did. Volk plans to use the data to make a tick-trapping map to let the public know where deer ticks are located in Maine, especially in areas reporting low numbers of Lyme disease cases, the article states. “We really have no definite idea where they are surviving in northern and western Maine,” said Volk. “This data is key to give us new insight and how they are able to migrate and where they are heading.”