People urged to be aware of ticks as they return to outdoor activities

By the Canadian Press, 1310 News, June 22, 2020

Hikers and other nature lovers are being urged to be on the lookout for ticks as they return to trails and forested areas across the country this summer.

Tick season runs from a peak in spring and early fall until late into October and the Nature Conservancy of Canada is urging people to take precautions against blacklegged or deer ticks that can carry various bacterial diseases, including Lyme disease.

Ticks are arachnids from the same family as scorpions, spiders and mites. They hide in the shade, in wooded areas and in long grasses, and can be carried from place to place by migratory birds. Unaided they can travel anywhere from 20 to 40 kilometres in a year.

The tick grows from approximately 0.3 centimetres when unfed to 0.6 centimetres when partially fed. Fully fed, the egg-shaped tick can grow to one centimetre in length.

Steve Schofield, an entomologist who is also a senior scientific adviser to the Department of National Defence and lives just outside Ottawa, said he first started noticing ticks in his large backyard about five years ago.

In fact, Schofield said Ottawa is now considered a "hyperendemic area" meaning simply that there are a lot of ticks and their infection rates are fairly high.

Connect with us