May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

by Jennifer Smith May 01, 2018

Because May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, it's time to spread the word about the dangers of ticks and the threat of tick diseases such as Lyme Disease. 

Lyme Disease is caused by a tick bite from different tick species, most notably the Eastern Black-legged tick (also referred to as the deer tick). Deer ticks are most active above freezing temperatures and can be found in grassy areas and woodlands. Lyme Disease may be the most common tick infection but it isn't the only type of tick disease. More than 300,000 U.S. individuals positively test for Lyme each year including over 100,000 dogs and cats. In Canada, the numbers are much lower, but still a concern. In 2017, close to 4000 dogs tested positively for Lyme Disease out of 129,000 tested. This year, over 700 dogs in Canada are already confirmed with Lyme.

Most Eastern Black-legged ticks have been discovered in these Canadian provinces:

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

Lyme Disease can be transmitted from animal to animal or animal to human. While not all ticks carry the Lyme bacterium, the infection can spread in just 24 hours if the tick is carrying it. Currently, there is no cure for Lyme, only prescribed medications.

This deer tick disease leaves individuals weak, bed-ridden, physically sick and unable to perform daily tasks. It can least for several months or years. 

Because spring and summer are the top seasons for tick sightings, tick disease prevention is a must. When outside in the garden, wear bright clothes to easily spot a tick; apply tick repellents to the yard and plant deer-resistant flowers to keep away deer that may be carrying ticks. And, know how to remove a tick.

Follow the conversation on @DeerbustersCan Twitter using hashtag #LymeDiseaseAwareness

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith