Do ticks spread disease?
Ticks can spread diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. “Deer Ticks” spread the bacteria that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia Burgdorferi). This is most likely to be transmitted if the tick has been attached to you for more than 24 hours.
What is Lyme Disease?
- bacterial infection spread through the bite of a blacklegged tick
- these ticks are found in South Western Ontario most commonly during the months of April to November
Symptoms: Usually occur within 1-2 weeks but can occur as soon as three days after a bite or as long as a month after
- Muscle and joint pains
- Skin rash that looks like a red bull’s eye
- Numbness or tingling
- Swollen lymph nodes
How to Protect Yourself
- Cover up, wear long sleeved shirts and pants
- Avoid walking in tall grass, stay on the center of paths
- Wear light coloured clothing to easily spot ticks
- Tuck your pants into your socks and wear closed toe shoes
- Use insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET
- Do a fully body check on yourself, children and pets after being outdoors
- Shower within 2 hours of being outdoors
- Put your clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 60 minutes
- Put a tick collar on your pets
- Keep your grass cut short
What if I get bit?
- Quickly remove tick with a tick key or tweezers
- Wash the bite and surrounding area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol
- Do not dispose of the tick. Keep it in a container with a damp paper towel.
- Contact your health care provider for further instructions.