Manitobans should be on the lookout for ticks now that warmer spring weather has arrived.
Entomologist Taz Stuart said black-legged ticks are the most common right now and have been out since the snow started to melt.
“They’re very, very small,” said Stuart. People don’t even realize they’re out.”
Black-legged ticks can carry Lyme Disease. Since 2009 when cases were first reported, there has been a steady increase in confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in the province, including 24 cases in 2016 and 29 cases last year, according to the Manitoba Health website.
Stuart said there’s also been an increase in ticks in Manitoba due to the changing weather patterns.
“We are seeing a natural increase,” he said. “We’re getting warmer and nicer summers and falls and winters. The cold season’s getting shorter as well so therefore we’re getting more opportunistic opportunities for ticks that really don’t belong here.”
Stuart said you should focus on your clothing if you want to avoid getting a tick.
“You want to make sure you’re wearing long sleeves, a long jacket,” he said. “Put an elastic around there, spray it down with DEET insect repellent. That will actually repel ticks.”
Manitoba Health says black-legged ticks often hang out in grassy areas or in shrubs where they wait for a host to latch on to, whether it is a human, dog, or other animal.