The province is reminding residents to take precautions against ticks this spring.

Ticks are most commonly found in tall grass, brush or wooded areas.

The most common tick species in Saskatchewan is the American dog tick, which is active from mid-April to the end of July. It cannot transmit Lyme disease to people.

Blacklegged ticks which can cause Lyme disease are rare in Saskatchewan. However, they can be introduced by migratory birds in early spring and remain active until early fall.

“People should be vigilant and check for ticks on themselves, their children and their pets after being outside,” Saskatchewan Chief Deputy Medical Health Officer Dr. Julie Kryzanowski said in release. “Taking precautions against ticks is the best way to reduce the risk of a tick bite.”

To prevent tick bites:

  • Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks can be easily seen.
  • Wear pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that do not expose your bare feet.
  • Pull socks over your pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin. Apply repellent to clothes as well as your skin. Always read and follow the directions on the label. Some repellents may have age restrictions.
  • In Canada, clothing that has been treated with the insecticide permethrin has been approved for use by people over the age of 16.
  • Shower or bathe as soon as possible after being outside to wash off loose ticks and inspect for attached ticks.

If you find a tick attached to your skin or on your pet:

  • Carefully remove it with fine-tipped tweezers and grasp the tick’s mouthparts as close to the skin as possible.
  • Pull slowly upward and out with firm, steady pressure.
  • Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body after removal.
  • Do not put Vaseline, gasoline, or other harmful substances on an attached tick.

In 2021, 969 ticks were identified in the province, including 15 blacklegged ticks.

The province said nine of them were submitted for testing with none testing positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

People can submit photos of ticks using the eTick system, keep ticks in a secure container until you receive the identification results. Ticks can be euthanized by placing them in a bag and storing it in the freezer 24 hours.

“Saskatchewanians can submit photographs of ticks found on humans or animals using the eTick online system at etick.ca to receive timely identification of the type of tick that is attached to a person, pet, or livestock animal and information on the risk of exposure to tick-borne diseases,” a release said.


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