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As disease-bearing ticks head north, weak government response threatens public health

The CDC says rising temperatures are partly to blame for the tripling of mosquito-, tick- and flea-borne illnesses from 2004 to 2016, but Maine’s governor, a climate skeptic, is tying health officials’ hands

By Kristen LombardiFatima Bhojani 5:55 am, August 6, 2018 Updated: 3:29 pm, August 8, 2018

Maine’s invasion came early this year. In recent hotbeds of tick activity — from Scarborough to Belfast and Brewer — people say they spotted the eight-legged arachnid before spring. They noticed the ticks — which look like moving poppy seeds — encroaching on roads, beaches, playgrounds, cemeteries and library floors. They saw them clinging to dogs, birds and squirrels.

By May, people were finding the ticks crawling on their legs, backs and necks. Now, in midsummer, daily encounters seem almost impossible to avoid.

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