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.
- Are carriers of Lyme disease
- Live in forested areas
- Found in early spring/late fall
- Do not carry Lyme disease
- Live in tree cover/long grass
- Found in spring/summer
- 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.
Check out our sources for more information!