Not to Tick You Off
Ontario's Newest Pest
Tick season is off to an early start this year. Although these insects are small, tick safety shouldn't be taken lightly. We don't have to fear them, but it's important to know how to keep you, your loved ones and your pets tick-free.
As you may already know, ticks can transmit Lyme disease but keep in mind that if a tick is found within 24 hours of attaching, it can be safely removed before it has a chance to transmit Lyme disease.
In previous years ticks were primarily a threat in the Unites States, but due to factors such as climate change and migratory birds, ticks have become unwanted pest in and around Northern Ontario. In Ontario there have been cases of infestations reported as far northwest as Rainy River and Thunder Bay.
Knowing this, the most important thing is to educate and protect yourself: Know where to expect ticks - they live in moist and humid environments, mostly in wooded or grassy areas. Remember to always wear long pants on the trails, and never mind looking stylish - tuck'em into your socks!
The heat may tick you off, but at least you'll be tick-free!
Ticked Off vs. Tick Free
When biting, a tick will actually will bury it's head in your skin and drink blood for several days. We may not notice them though, not only because they're quite small, but because they release an anesthetic when they bite. As such it is crucial to check both your body and that of your furry friends after each hike.
Check your clothing first. Ticks are under 1 cm in size and can be easily missed. To be on the safe side you can put your clothes in the dryer on high heat. After 10 minutes on high heat any ticks that may have been on your clothes will be long gone.
Specialists say that ticks are drawn to our bodies' heat and moisture. So check underarms and groin areas first, then take a hot shower. Showering within 2 hours of coming indoors can greatly reduce your chances of contracting Lyme disease.
If you do find a tick on yourself or pet it is important to remove it as soon as possible. Use pointed tweezers to remove the head as they are more precise (flat ended tweezers may kill the tick while leaving the head burrowing). You can also go to your doctor or veterinarian.
For more details on tick removal, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html
DID YOU KNOW? In 2016 There were over 800 reported of Lyme disease in Canada. That's a tremendous increase from 2010, of only 143.