Ticks that can carry Lyme disease back in Thunder Bay area

Ticks, the tiny bugs that can cause Lyme disease, have made their first appearance of the season in the Thunder Bay area, a local entomologist warns.
People in Thunder Bay should be on the look out for deer ticks, the type to carry Lyme disease, as the warmer seasons begins. (Victoria Arocho/The Associated Press)

It’s that time of year again.

Ticks, the tiny bugs that can cause Lyme disease, have made their first appearance of the season in the Thunder Bay area, a local entomologist warns.

“Do a tick check… it takes over 24 hours for Lyme disease to be transmitted,” said Ken Deacon, entomologist and bioconsultant working with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

“And we have Lyme in our area, you should be aware of that and if should become a part of your life in the Great White North.”

Deacon said that two black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks — the type that can carry Lyme — have already been brought into the health unit from the Kakabeka Falls area.

“Just because you don’t see one doesn’t mean you haven’t been bitten,” said Deacon. “I mean if you know that ticks are present and you show symptoms of Lyme disease then you should probably talk to your physician.

“It’s really easy to treat the disease in the early stages but it’s really hard to treat it when it’s well established.

Lyme can also be passed on to dogs and cats.

Deacon says if you're in the bush, wear long pants and tuck them into your socks as a precaution. He also suggests using a DEET repellent.

Only about 2 per cent of tick bites result in Lyme but Deacon still urges residents to be take precautions to avoid getting bitten.

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