Tick season is here warns Grey Bruce Public Health

Don’t get ticked off, but now is the time to be reminded to protect yourself and those around you from Lyme disease.

Greybruce Public Health is warning anyone enjoying the outdoors this spring to be on the lookout for black-legged tick bites. Ticks can carry the bacteria B. burgdoferi, which causes Lyme disease.

“The best way to prevent Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is to avoid being bitten by ticks,” said senior public health manager Andrew Barton. “Staying on well-cleared roads or trails, wearing clothing that prevents ticks from coming into contact with the skin, and using repellents containing DEET or icaridin when outdoors are all ways to prevent tick bites. “

Black-legged ticks are found in the Grey-Bruce area and are most commonly found in wooded areas, fields, tall grass and foliage.

Not all black-legged ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. In most cases, an infected tick must remain attached to a person for at least 24 hours to spread the disease-causing bacteria.

The Ministry of Health says people can prevent tick bites by:

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in tick colonies, with shirts tucked into pants and pants tucked into socks;

wear closed-toed shoes;

using insecticides that contain DEET or icaridin;

wear light-colored clothing (to make it easier to spot ticks that may have crawled on them);

Use an adhesive lint remover to remove any ticks that may have crawled onto shoes or clothing;

Do a full body check for ticks when you get home, shower/bath to wash off unbitten ticks and look for recently bitten ticks;

Check your pet for ticks and seek advice from your veterinarian on how to keep your pet tick-free;

Put clothes in the dryer for at least 10 minutes when you get home (to kill ticks).

If bitten by a tick, it is important to delete it now.

For more information, please visit Gray Bruce Public Health’s tick page.

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