Wood ticks still a concern in September for the ministry of health

As the final days of nice weather roll into Saskatchewan, the provincial government is reminding residents that wood ticks are still are still an issue even as we approach the fall season.

Dr. Emily Jenkins from the University of Saskatchewan says tick season usually runs from mid-April to July, but ticks can still be found this time of year.

“The main reason we’re sending this message out right now is that we want people to be extra vigilant because it’s uncommon to see ticks this late in the year, but if you do see ticks, the chances are very high it’s one of the ones that we’re worried about that can actually transmit Lyme Disease.”

Dr Jenkins says blacklegged ticks often come to Saskatchewan in the teenaged stage of their development in the spring.

“The teenaged ticks take a ride on those migratory birds, when they get here the pop off and they hang out over the summer,” Dr. Jenkins said. “(They) develop to the adult stage, and then then those adult ticks are questing for a host, and that could be us or our pets, in the fall.”

The province, along with the University of Saskatchewan, have released eTick this year, a platform that allows Saskatchewan residents the opportunity to identify wood ticks found on themselves or pets.

Dr. Jenkins says the eTick program has been a success so far thanks to participation from Saskatchewan residents.

“We’ve had thousands of submissions and we’ve been very pleased to report that we’ve only found a few of the Lyme Disease ticks,” Dr. Jenkins said. “I would say that we picked up more of them this year than we usually do, so we attribute that to the success of eTick, we think that helped us find these rare — there were less than 10 — blackegged ticks that are showing up here.”

A link to eTick can be found here.

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