With over 899 species of worldwide ticks, every human and animal is at risk of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses. The number of reported Lyme Disease cases in Canada is on the rise; beginning at 144 cases in 2009 and jumping to 917 cases in 2015.
As we have mentioned on the DeerbustersCanada blog, deer ticks stay active by feasting on warm-blooded hosts including humans, dogs and rodents. The feasting, or attaching stage, is when there becomes a possible risk of Lyme Disease. But, we can't just stay indoors and miss-out on outdoor activities we enjoy such as hiking, golfing, gardening and camping. There are preventive measures to take to reduce the risk of Lyme Disease; but we'll get to that in a minute. For now, let's look at the top areas across Canada where black-legged ticks are most active:
1) Southern British Columbia
2) Southeastern and South-central Manitoba
3) Southern Quebec
4) Southern, Eastern and Western Ontario
5) Parts of Nova Scotia
6) Southern New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island
To better survey Canada cases of Lyme Disease, visit the Government of Canada website to read about these Canadian Areas in further detail.
So, how can we reduce the risk of Lyme Disease? If you are a home gardener or farmer, we strongly encourage you to protect your lawn and garden with a reliable deer fence. You can further safeguard your property with pesticides and deer repellents. If you are active outdoors, be sure to apply insect spray on your body - especially around your ankles as ticks crawl from the ground up (remember: ticks do not jump or fly).
After outdoor activity, do a thorough tick-check on yourself and your pets. If a tick is attached, remove it immediately using a tick removal tool. (Do not remove the tick with tweezers, nor burn the area.) Be sure to disinfect the area of the skin where the tick was attached with alcohol; and lastly, put the tick in a sealed container and take it to the doctor for identification.
To protect your family and property from tick-borne diseases, discuss deer fencing with a DeerbustersCanada representative.