Tracking the types of ticks that plague Maine helps scientists predict which tick-borne pathogens might become a problem. New research shows that blacklegged ticks have been increasing in abundance in a Midcoast forest over the past 30 years — and bringing more Lyme disease with it.
Blacklegged ticks infected with a certain bacteria are the primary vector for Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can cause joint, heart and nervous system damage if left untreated. Past studies have shown that blacklegged ticks have been expanding their range in the Northeast and Midwest since the Last Glacial Maximum, and further northward in the last two decades as climate change warms areas once too cold for the critter. Read more