Tread carefully, there are ticks in Island Lakes
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/06/2016 (2248 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I love summer, and spring. But I don’t care for the insects. And I especially don’t like wood ticks.
When I was a kid, ticks were more of a nuisance but nowadays certain wood ticks — a.k.a. blacklegged ticks or deer ticks — are known to carry Lyme disease.
I distinctly remember coming home to the city after spending the weekends in the country in late spring and early summer to find hitchhikers in the form of ticks crawling all over me! Yuck.
I remember my Dad plucking ticks off the poor dog and throwing them into the fire or bursting them. Gross. I felt so sorry for the dog, you’d think he needed a blood transfusion from the number of ticks that were pulled from him.
Most people think ticks are found they are in thick wooded areas, long grass, etc. In recent years, though, they have been found right here in our own back yards — literally.
While gardening last year, I saw a strange spider crawling along the compost bag. But it wasn’t a spider — it was a tick. An hour later I found a couple more. In the sanctity of my Island Lakes back yard.
This year, I have heard that these pests have been seen in other areas of Island Lakes.
So let this be a reminder to be diligent about checking yourself, your dog and your kids after spending time outdoors, regardless if you’ve just been in your back yard, at the park or hiking in the forest.
My daughter Katrice came home from a field trip just the other day and, while she had a wonderful day, finding wood ticks was cringe-inducing for her.
“At least they didn’t attach themselves to you yet,” I gingerly explained, hoping that this would dull the shock of finding ticks crawling all over her.
Research suggests that 15 per cent of black-legged ticks in Manitoba can carry Lyme disease. Typically they feed on small animals and rodents in the bush and do not start feeding till after the first 24 hours that they attach themselves, which is why it is crucial to check your fur babies as well as your children once they’ve come in from outside.
There is good news for your pets. Tick collars and oral medicine can protect them and prevent infection.
For humans, unfortunately, there are no preventatives. So be diligent about checking.
As the summer months heat up, ticks are usually not so active — but, of course, that’s when the annual mosquito battle starts up.
Jasmine van Gerwen is a community correspondent for Island Lakes. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org