Lambton Public Health reminds area residents to protect themselves and their families against ticks, and Lyme disease, when outdoors.
Lyme disease is spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, a tiny, slow-moving bug about the size of a sesame seed. Ticks live in wooded areas and fields and attach when a person or animal brushes against plants, bushes or tall grass. Once attached, ticks feed on blood; most people never feel the bite.
“Not all blacklegged ticks carry the bacteria,” said Lori Lucas, Supervisor with Lambton Public Health. “Even if the tick is positive, the risk of getting Lyme disease is low.”
The American dog tick is the most common tick in Lambton and is not an efficient transmitter of Lyme disease. Dog ticks are larger in size, about the size of a pencil eraser.
Protect against tick bites:
- Be prepared – use bug spray with DEET and wear long sleeves and pants
- Check for ticks – look for ticks on yourself and your family after going outdoors
- Know the symptoms – rash, fever, aches
The most common symptom is an expanding skin rash, which can appear between three and 30 days after a tick bite. Anyone who develops symptoms after being bitten by a tick should see their health care provider.
If you find a tick, use tweezers to grasp the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out using steady pressure. DO NOT twist, squeeze or burn the tick.
Prompt removal of ticks helps prevent Lyme disease. When detected early, Lyme disease is easily treated with antibiotics.
Blacklegged ticks have been found in areas of Lambton. Pinery Provincial Park has a confirmed population of blacklegged ticks.
Only ticks found on humans can be submitted to Lambton Public Health for identification. For more information or to learn more about ticks or Lyme disease visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca, ontario.ca/lyme or call 519-383-8331, 1-800-667-1839.