If you are out and about in the woodlands or in grassy areas or plan to go on such a trip make sure to cover yourself properly as authorities have warned that the tick season has arrived with early spring in Canada.
One of the major sources of ticks and tick bites is woodlands and areas where there is tall grasses. Families tend to visit such places while on a picnic or a hiking trip and with weather becoming more favourable for such outings, encounters with ticks increase substantially.
Warm weather while providing an ideal time for family trips also provides favourable conditions for insects including ticks to go about their routine activities. Ticks feed on human and animal blood and are known to transmit diseases including the Lyme disease. When people and pet animals are roaming around in grassy areas or woodlands, ticks could end up in their heads as well as on the body.
Internal Health says that covering up before you head outdoors and checking for ticks on yourself, your children, and your pets after being outdoors, are simple things that go a long way to prevent tick bites.
While the most common tick species found in Interior Health region is the Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni) does not carry Lyme disease bacteria, it is known to carry other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. There are other ticks that are known to cause temporary muscle weakness and paralysis when they bite.
People living in coastal areas of British Columbia are the most prone to Lyme disease as the tick species that carries the Lyme disease (Ixodes pacificus) bacteria are more common in that region. While the region does have these ticks, less than one per cent of Ixodes ticks in B.C. carry Lyme disease.
Lyme disease symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle pain, as well as a rash that looks like a “bull’s eye” target that expands from the site of the tick bite.