Take precautions to handle ticks when you are outside

Take precautions to handle ticks when you are outside

People should always be vigilant and check themselves, their children and pets after being outside; Taking precautions against ticks is the best way to reduce the risk of a tick bite.

During the spring, the tick becomes more prevalent. They can’t fly or jump but they will stick to your pants or shirt if you walk against some of the tall grass they are on. Ticks are mostly found in tall grass, brush, or wooded areas.

There are three ticks native to Saskatchewan. There are Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick), D. albipictus (Moose or Winter tick), and D. Fortunately, none of the native species of ticks transmit Lyme disease. These three species have established populations (self-reproducing) in Saskatchewan.

There are two species of ticks that are not native to Saskatchewan, and they include Ixodes scapularis (eastern black-legged tick) and I. pacificus (western black-legged tick). Both ticks are known to carry Lyme disease. However, to date, there is no record of any consistent populations of black-legged ticks in Saskatchewan.

To prevent tick bites:

  • Wear light-coloured clothing so that ticks can be seen easily.
  • Wear pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that don’t reveal bare feet.
  • Pull the socks over the legs of the pants to prevent ticks from crawling into your legs.
  • Use insect repellents that contain diethylene terephthalate or icaridin. Apply insect repellent to clothing as well as to your skin. Read and always follow the directions on the label. Some insect repellents may have age restrictions.
  • In Canada, clothing treated with the insecticide permethrin is approved for use by people over 16 years of age.
  • Shower or shower as soon as possible after going outside to wash away loose ticks and check for attached ticks.

What to do when you find a tick on yourself or a pet:

  • Carefully remove it with fine-tipped tweezers and hold the tick’s mouth parts as close to the skin as possible.
  • Slowly pull up and out with firm, steady pressure.
  • Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the object after removal.

Do not apply petroleum jelly, petrolatum, or other harmful substances to the attached tick.

Submit photos of ticks using the eTick system, and please keep ticks in a secure container until you receive identification results. Ticks can be eliminated by placing them in a bag and storing them in the freezer for 24 hours.

People should always be vigilant and check themselves, their children and pets after being outside; Taking precautions against ticks is the best way to reduce the risk of a tick bite.

In 2021, 969 ticks were identified and only 15 of these were black-legged ticks. Nine of them were submitted for testing and none of them tested positive for Lyme disease. Since 2008, 34,939 markers have been identified. Of those ticks, 94 were black-legged ticks and 13 tested positive for Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bite of a blacklegged tick infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. This is a serious disease that may affect your joints. If most people are treated early with the correct antibiotics, they will recover completely. Fortunately, the risk of developing Lyme disease is low in Saskatchewan.

Some of the symptoms of Lyme disease are:

  • An expanding rash that looks like a “bull’s eye” at the site of a tick bite may occur in 70 to 80 percent of infected people. Some people may not develop a rash.
  • fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint aches, tiredness, or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Later symptoms may include more rash, dizziness, abnormal heartbeat, arthritis, mental confusion, inability to think clearly (brain fog), and nervous system disorders (which includes the brain, nerves, and spinal cord).



2022-05-26 17:00:00

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