Saskatchewan

Expert predicts 'reasonably large' number of ticks in Saskatchewan

A biology professor predicts there will be a reasonably large number of ticks in Saskatchewan this summer, thanks to the mild winter and current temperatures.

'Just looking through my window, a tick would be very happy at the moment,' prof says

A biology professor says a milder winter has led to the larger tick population that's expected in Saskatchewan this summer. (CBC News)

An expert predicts that people in Saskatchewan will be seeing lots of ticks this season. 

"Just looking through my window, a tick would be very happy at the moment," said Neil Chilton, who teaches biology at the University of Saskatchewan. 

"Given the very mild winter conditions we've had, combined with the weather we've got at the moment, I think we're going to see a reasonably large number of ticks out."

Chilton said the arachnids thrive in temperatures that range from the high teens to low 20s. 

 'I think we're going to see a reasonably large number of ticks out.'- Nick Chilton

He predicted that residents in southern Saskatchewan should start to see more ticks over the next few weeks, but assures anyone nervous about the critters that our province is not typically home to the type that carry lyme disease, even though they can be spotted from time to time.

There are two types of ticks in the province: The American dog tick, found in eastern Saskatchewan, which disappear around June; and the Rocky Mountain wood tick, located in the west, which can be seen until late July or early August. 

Chilton, whose lab is headquartered in Saskatoon, received the first reports of tick sightings last week. That's only a tad early from the seasonal average, which is the start of May. 

However, he said Regina may have seen them earlier.

now