The Ministry of Health is warning Saskatchewan residents that tick season is back.
With the warm weather, ticks are back crawling in tall grass, hoping to latch onto people, pets and other animals.
Dr. Denise Werker with the Health Ministry says there are two types of ticks to look for.
“The American dog tick, which is much more common in this province, but what we are really concerned about is this black-legged tick,” Dr. Werker says. “That black-legged tick is the one that carries Lyme disease, and there is a fair bit of concern around Lyme disease across Canada as well as in other countries like the U.S. and the European countries.”
While the risk is low, there have been reported cases of Lyme diseases from ticks in Saskatchewan in the past, which Dr. Werker says is reason enough to thoroughly check yourself and pets during the summer months.
Entomologist Phil Curry says both species of ticks are expanding their range.
“15 years ago, we never saw them up in northern Saskatchewan, or in places like Melfort and Lloydminster, but they have really increased their range throughout the province, which means more are getting exposed to ticks,” Curry says. “People that have not had a lot of experience with ticks, and of course people are concerned (whether or not) they are carrying any disease.”
Only seven cases of Lyme disease contracted from wood ticks have been reported in Saskatchewan since 2009, six of which were picked up out of province.