Tick Season Is Officially Back In Canada As If We Don't Have Enough To Deal With
Sorry Canada, there’s bad news ahead! Just in case you don’t already have enough to worry about, tick season in Canada is officially back. From Alberta to Ontario, health agencies are urging Canadians to be wary when they’re out and about, and to look out for pesky ticks carrying Lyme disease.
Most Canadians already have a lot to consider when they’re outside right now, but Canadian health agencies are asking us to be aware of just one more thing.
It’s now officially tick season in many parts of the country, which means outdoor areas such as woods, forests or places with long grasses are more likely to have bugs present.
Thanks to the warm weather, ticks are already making a comeback, and it’s probably time to grab your bug spray and a pair of long socks.
Last year, six provinces had to deal with tick problems, including Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and BC.
This year is expected to be no different.
There's even more bad news for residents of Alberta, as there's an extra high risk of Lyme disease in some parts of the region.
If you aren't sure what to look out for, the Alberta government explains, "Ticks are small spider-like animals (arachnids) that bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood."
Health Canada explains that Lyme disease symptoms can vary, but they typically occur from 3 to 30 days after you’ve been bitten.
“Most people experience mild flu-like symptoms soon after being bitten,” the government agency notes, “while a small number may have more serious symptoms, sometimes weeks after the bite.”
Those who have been bitten should be on the lookout for a rash, fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint aches and swollen lymph nodes.
A notice from Ottawa Public Health explains that preventing tick bites “is key to the prevention of Lyme disease,” and there are several ways to make sure you’re as protected as possible when you’re outside.
Advice from the health agency includes applying an insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin, checking yourself and your pets regularly for ticks, and removing them as soon as possible if you find one.
If you do find one of the bugs on your skin, OPH suggests using tweezers to “grasp the tick's head as close to the skin as possible and pull slowly until the tick is removed.”
The agency adds, “do not twist or rotate the tick. Do not use a match, lotion or anything else on the tick.”
While this all sounds pretty gross, it’s important to note that Canada is home to many species of ticks, most of which do not carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease.
Stay safe out there!