Ticks & Lyme Disease
It's that time of year again. The return of warmer weather also brings with it the return of ticks and we have already begun to see ticks in our areas for 2017. Keep reading for more information on Ticks.
What You Need to Know About Ticks
The most common type of tick found in Hamilton is the American Dog tick. American Dog ticks cannot transmit Lyme disease. Ticks are bugs that sit on tall grass and bushes until they attach themselves to a person or animal passing by.
Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria. In Ontario, Lyme disease is carried by some black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks.
Tick Bite Prevention
Here are some tips to avoid getting tick bites:
- Wear light-coloured clothing outdoors. It makes ticks easier to spot.
- Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Wear socks and close toe shoes.
- Tuck your pants into your socks.
- Use a tick repellent that contains DEET or lcaridin and follow the manufacturer's directions for application. Apply the repellent to your skin and outer clothing, but avoid your eyes and mouth, as well as cuts and scrapes.
- Check your pet for ticks.
- Avoid areas known to be infested with ticks when possible
Ticks & Lyme Disease
For full information about ticks and Lyme Disease in Hamilton, visit the City of Hamilton Public Health Information Page.
What if you find an attached tick?
- Use fine-tipped tweezers, carefully grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull it straight out, gently but firmly. DO NOT squeeze the tick
- Do not put anything on the tick, or try to burn the tick off.
- Thoroughly clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water.
- Whenever you are in the field, it is important to do a tick check. Make sure to check areas such as, armpits, scalp and groin.
Types of Ticks:
American Dog Tick
Also known as wood ticks - are frequently found throughout the Hamilton area. Unlike the Blacklegged ticks, dog ticks do not carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
How to identify: Dog ticks have white marking on its back, and an unfed adult is about 4-6 mm in length (see picture below)
Formerly called deer tick - may carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, which is spread through a bite. It is possible that blacklegged ticks may be found in Hamilton. The City of Hamilton Pubic Health Services notes that at this time, the most predominant type of tick found in Hamilton is the American dog tick which does not transmit Lyme disease.
How to identify: Blacklegged ticks has dark brown markings on its back and an unfed adult is about 3-5mm in length.