Ottawa’s tick population is more widespread than initially thought, with the nasty critters popping up near residential areas of the city sooner than researchers at the University of Ottawa had been expecting.
A team of university scientists is currently in the second year of a three-year study measuring the distribution and density of black-legged ticks in Ottawa. The researchers are also looking at the rates of ticks infected with the bacteria known to cause Lyme disease. Their results so far show that one in three ticks tested carry the harmful bacteria.
This time of year is particularly bad, so it’s really important to take precautions when you’re out walking on recreational trails, in wooded areas, like those where you might encounter some deer. Remember: ticks do not jump, fly or drop from trees, they are down on the ground and crawl up until they find a good spot to attach. Tucking pant legs into socks is a good way to keep ticks on the outside where they may be seen or get brushed off. You should also apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
Make sure to check your pets for ticks as well. Last November, our local vet pulled this one off our dogs face after we noticed it. There are a number of places that ticks are likely to attach themselves when it comes to pets. Here’s a useful link if you are concerned: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/places-to-look-for-ticks-on-dog/
Story and map source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-ticks-widespread-1.4850613
Image source: https://www.muskokaregion.com/community-story/