Watch out for ticks!

Due to climate change, ticks are making a rise in Southwestern Ontario. Warming temperatures are shortening the cold season, increasing the number of warm days and resulting in a climate more accommodating for species like ticks.

Ticks to know

There are a few different types of ticks, but the two of importance in Ontario are dog ticks and deer/blacklegged ticks.

Deer/Blacklegged Ticks

  • Are carriers of Lyme disease
  • Live in forested areas
  • Found in early spring/late fall

Dog Ticks

  • Do not carry Lyme disease
  • Live in tree cover/long grass
  • Found in spring/summer

Avoiding ticks

  • Make sure to check yourself, your children, and you pets after having been outside.
  • Wear pants and long sleeves to reduce skin exposure.
  • When hiking, stay on the path instead of bushwhacking.
  • Maintain your property:
    • If you have a lawn, keep the grass cut short.
    • Consider creating a woodchip/gravel border between your lawn and a naturalized/wooded area.

Think twice before using pesticides. Ontario prohibits their use for most cosmetic purposes, and pesticides increase health risks for both humans and native species.

If you find a tick

Remove the tick using a tick key or a pair of tweezers—grabbing it as close to the skin as possible and carefully pulling it straight out. Do not use other “techniques” such as using petroleum jelly or a lit match, and avoid crushing the tick as it can cause Lyme disease bacteria to pass into the bloodstream.

  • Access eTick for quick image identification.
  • To help officials monitor where ticks live, you can submit ones you’ve found for testing at your public health unit.

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Check out our sources for more information!

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