Maine CDC Marks Lyme Disease Awareness Month with “Little Tick, Big Deal” Campaign

Avoid ticks with prevention tips

AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges Maine residents and visitors to take precautions to make tick prevention a “big deal” this month. Governor Janet Mills has again proclaimed May Lyme Disease Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Little tick, Big Deal.”

Preventing tick bites is the best way to keep from getting a tickborne disease. Deer ticks in Maine can carry the germs that cause diseases in people and animals. The most common tickborne diseases in Maine include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Other tickborne diseases found in Maine are Hard Tick Relapsing Fever and Powassan virus disease.

Ticks live in wooded, leafy, and shrubby areas and deer ticks have been found in all 16 counties of Maine. They are currently active, so anyone spending time outdoors should take steps to limit their exposure to ticks. Health care providers reported a record 2,943 cases of Lyme disease and seven cases of Powassan to the Maine CDC in 2023.

While enjoying the outdoors, the Maine CDC recommends following these tips to make tick prevention a big deal:

  1. Know tick habitat and use caution in areas where ticks may live.
  2. Wear light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs and tuck pants into socks.
  3. Use an EPA-approved repellent like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on skin and permethrin on clothing.
  4. Check for ticks daily and after any outdoor activity. Check family members and pets too.
  5. Remove your clothing when you get home and put it in the dryer before washing. Use high heat for 10–15 minutes to kill any crawling ticks.

The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a “bull’s-eye” rash anywhere on the body. Other symptoms of tickborne disease include flu-like symptoms, including joint and muscle pain, fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Some of these symptoms can look like COVID-19 or the flu. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to a health care provider and be sure to mention a recent tick bite or time spent in tick habitat.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab offers tick identification at no charge to Maine residents. The Tick Lab also offers testing of ticks for infection to Maine residents for a fee of $20. Testing can take up to three days and should be used for surveillance purposes only and not for diagnosis, as finding a tick on you, even if it was attached, does not necessarily mean that any germs have been transmitted. Contact a health care provider for concerns about tickborne illnesses. Find more information at To learn more about how to be tick free, visit