White-tailed deer are the favorite hosts of deer ticks in North America. In the warm months beginning from March-May, and in cooler months from August-November, when deer become extremely active, deer ticks, such as the black-legged tick, thrive. As deer enter backyards in search of food, deer ticks and tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, follow – and they do not go dormant – even in the wintertime. They will remain active in search of a warm-blooded host if temperatures are above freezing.
The Public Health Agency of Canada confirms that the number of infected black-legged deer ticks in Canada are increasing and can potentially trigger Lyme Disease in less than 24 hours. With an estimated 40 species of deer ticks in Canada, it is important that home gardeners and farmers alike get the facts about deer ticks. Here's what you need to know:
1) There is a higher risk of Lyme Disease in Eastern Canada and Manitoba as cases of Lyme infection are most reported in this region. Some of these ticks come from migratory birds or deer that crossed over from the United States.
2) The Black-legged tick is the second most common tick species in Canada.
3) American dog ticks are common in Saskatchewan and can transmit many diseases including Spotted fever. (The Dog Tick is not know for carrying Lyme Disease.) The Brown Dock Tick also carries Spotted fever, although not necessarily in humans.
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.
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
But, white-tail deer aren't the only ones that are spreading ticks. In fact, the white-footed mouse carries the Lyme bacterium and is known to spread the tick illness to other wild animals and rodents including rabbits, groundhogs and rats. Ticks found in Manitoba came from migratory birds, as well.
In Ontario alone, there are over 400,000 white tailed deer - that's 400,000 opportunities for crop damage and the spread of tick diseases. But, it isn't just Ontario that needs to worry about ticks. The black-legged tick has been spotted in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and Manitoba.
Tick Removal Tools are essential accessories for hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts to keep on-hand when outside for long periods of time. Ticks thrive during the warmer months, beginning in March each year; and with ticks, Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses follows. For this reason alone, it's important to know how to remove a deer tick and use a tick tool to successfully remove a tick from any part of the body.If you love playing outdoors, you may have experienced a tick bite already - but hopefully not. Click here to see how to remove a tick.