Saskatchewan

Tick season has arrived in Saskatchewan

As Saskatchewanians welcome the warming spring temperatures, health officials say it's time to start taking precautions against a less-than-welcome sign of spring: ticks.

Risk of encountering a tick carrying Lyme disease is unlikely, but not impossible

Saskatchewan's deputy chief medical health officer says climate change is one of the reasons for increasing numbers of ticks across Canada. (Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images)

As Saskatchewanians welcome the warming spring temperatures, health officials say it's time to start taking precautions against a less-than-welcome sign of spring: ticks.

Denise Werker, the province's deputy chief medical health officer held a press conference on Friday to let people know that the bloodsuckers are going to start popping up and how to protect against them.

According to Werker, warming temperatures due to climate change have resulted in higher numbers of ticks across Canada.

In Saskatchewan, there's a risk you could encounter a tick from now all the way into November.

Werker said ticks like to live in grassy or wooded areas. If you happen to be walking through one of these habitats, there are some things you should do to keep yourself from becoming a tick's next meal.

"Make sure that you wear long pants. You can put your socks over your pants so that the ticks don't crawl up your legs," Werker said. "It's also important that you use insect repellant that has deet or icaridin."

Werker said all ticks can potentially carry infectious diseases, including Lyme disease.

The most common tick in Saskatchewan—the dog tick—doesn't carry Lyme disease. On the other hand, the black-legged tick does. This type of tick is rare in Saskatchewan, but not impossible to come across.

"If you're in the wrong place in the wrong time and you pick up a tick that has been dropped off by a bird that has been infected, you can come down with Lyme disease."

In addition to dressing appropriately, Werker said it's also important to wash yourself after being outside and to inspect your body. Ticks like to nestle into warm parts of the body, like the groin and the back of the knee.

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