To the dismay of parents and pet owners, ticks are now out in force in Saskatchewan.
It's an annual event, but the province says the blood-sucking arachnids arrived suddenly this year because of a prolonged spring and then a sudden temperature rise.
Regina's Buddy Wynn says he recently picked twenty ticks off his dog Tara after a trip to Pasqua Lake east of Regina. He's also had to pull ticks off himself, too.
"I did a little bit stuff with grass, mowed the lawn and stuff, and I had about 10 or 15 on me," he said.
Most of the ticks people encounter in Saskatchewan are wood ticks, also known as dog ticks.
Lyme disease is linked to less-common deer ticks.
Entomologist Phil Curry, who's with the Health Ministry, says there are now more hot zones for ticks in Saskatchewan than there were a few years ago.
The Sun Country Health Region in southeastern Saskatchewan offers a number of tips to help people avoid ticks:
- Wear clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible and wear light coloured clothing to make the ticks easier to spot.
- Tuck your pants into socks and wear shirts that fit tightly around your wrists.
- Use an insect repellent with DEET.
- Stay in the centre of the trail when hiking and avoid the long grass.
- Keep your pets out of the wooded areas and long grass.
- Regularly check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks before coming indoors.
- Returning from a tick-infested area, remove your clothes, shower, and do a thorough tick check.
- Wash and dry all clothes on the hottest setting to kill any ticks left on clothes.