The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is taking over tick identification duties from Maine Medical Center Research Institute, which had operated the program for 25 years.

According to a news release, tick identification at Maine Med was eliminated in December as a result of budget cuts.

The “Tick ID” lab is expected to receive about 1,300 tick specimens each year, to test for Lyme disease and other diseases and to study the state’s tick population.

“It’s going to give the people a much better awareness of ticks and how to avoid ticks in the first place,” said Jim Dill, pest management specialist at the Cooperative Extension, in a statement.

Maine had 1,349 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in 2013, and the disease has been increasing in Maine in recent years.

Tick identifications cost $10, and can be submitted in person, by mail or by uploading photos to the website. For more information, call 581-3188.

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