Ontario public health officials are asking residents to watch out for ticks, the tiny arachnids that can spread Lyme disease.
Dr. Curtis Russell, a biologist with Public Health Ontario, told CBC Radio's Metro Morning that the agency is tracking a "steady increase" in the number of cases of Lyme disease.
"We're also seeing an increase in the number of blacklegged ticks, which is the only tick that can transmit Lyme disease in Ontario," Russell said on Friday.
Ticks are most commonly found in humid, brushy areas, Russell added. In Toronto, researchers have found high populations in a pocket of the Toronto Islands and along the Rouge Valley.
"They wouldn't be in, say, a soccer field because the grass is too short and too dry," Russell said.
Some ticks carry a bacteria that may cause Lyme disease if you are bitten.
Public Health Ontario offers these tips for protection:
Ticks are able to lock into your skin when they bite. If you discover one on your body, use fine-tipped tweezers to carefully remove it without crushing the tick's body.
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