It’s officially tick season once again and residents in the province are being reminded to take preventative measures.
In Saskatchewan, the most common species of tick is the American dog tick or wood tick, which are typically found in tall grass, brush, or wooded areas and latch onto people and pets.
In a press release, Saskatchewan Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, stated that if spending time outdoors, individuals should be checking themselves regularly.
"People should check themselves, their children and their pets for ticks after spending time outdoors," she elaborated. "Taking precautions, like pulling your socks up over your pant legs and using effective insect repellents, will reduce the risk of tick bites."
While these types of tick are not able to transmit Lyme disease to a human, they are the most active in spring and early summer.
In Saskatchewan the risk of exposure to Lyme disease, caused by black-legged ticks, is low.
In 2022, 1,308 ticks were identified in Saskatchewan. Of those, 17 were black-legged ticks.
No established population of black-legged ticks have been detected in the province with active surveillance efforts.
Individuals can prevent ticks by wearing light-coloured clothes so ticks can be easily seen, wearing pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that do not expose bare feet, pulling socks over their pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up their legs, using insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin, showering or bathing as soon as possible after being outside to wash off loose ticks, and doing full-body tick checks as soon as possible after being outside on themselves, children, and pets.
If you find a tick attached to your skin or on your pet, you can carefully remove it with fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick's mouthparts as close to the skin as possible. Ticks can be euthanized by placing them in a bag and storing them in the freezer for 24 hours.
For a demonstration of how to remove a tick, click here.
Individuals are also able to submit pictures of the tick to www.etick.ca (keep ticks in a secure container until you receive the identification results as you may be requested to submit them by mail for further study. Ticks should not be submitted by mail unless requested).