Thanks to that oh-so-wonderful snow storm back in April, I'm still out in my yard on the weekends trying to deal with all the fallen trees and brush in my yard. I've gone through more chain oil on my chainsaw than I care to think about, running my saw full tilt for a few hours at a whack.

Without fail, every time I come inside from working, my wife and I will do tick checks. And so far, also without fail, we have found ticks. I know at this point, it seems like there's nothing new about ticks they could possibly tell you. Or about the sheer numbers of them. But right now, the news cycle is dominated by the virus.

And while I'd never be foolish enough to think anyone just flat out forgot about ticks, I feel like the chatter about them has been pretty quiet. But I guess that depends on who you talk to. I've had tons, I've seen it online too. But now folks at the state level are starting to see some pretty significant movement in this regard.

According to the BDN, the University of Maine Tick Lab has seen the number of ticks being sent to them for identification and testing has begun to skyrocket. Because of recent quarantine rules, people are getting out of the house more than they have in recent memory. And with all these folks outside, ticks are finding them.

Up to this point, the UMaine Tick Lab would identify what species the samples they would receive were, for free. And last year, they also added the option to test deer ticks for the three main human-harming pathogens, Lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis.

They're pacing about two solid weeks ahead of last year, sample-wise. For many reasons. We had a warm winter, and an even milder spring, lack of snow pack, etc. But experts point out, more samples doesn't specifically mean there are more ticks. Just that more people are having them tested, and sooner in the year.

Either way... coronavirus, murder hornets, ticks.... 2020 just seems hell bent on taking us down. But, we're Mainers. That means we never go down without a fight. Now as long as I don't reel in a giant shark-bass this summer at camp, I'll feel pretty good about it. Meantime, check yourself before you, uuhhh, tick yourself?