The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) is encouraging individuals working or exploring the outdoors with friends, family or pets, to make small changes that can help to prevent tick bites.
The risk of contracting a tick-borne disease is lower if you take steps to prevent tick bites:
- Check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks after being outdoors.
- Avoid places with long grasses. If you are hiking or walking, stay in the centre of the trail.
- Wear light coloured clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
- Use an insect repellant with DEET or Icaridin.
Be sure to follow the product label guidelines especially for use on infants, children, and pregnant women.
Talk to your veterinarian about options to protect your pet.
Ensure all ticks are removed properly as soon as possible.
If a tick is attached to a person:
- Grasp the head of the tick with clean tweezers as close to the skin as possible;
- Pull it straight out, gently but firmly;
- Clean the area with an alcohol swab or soap and water; and
- Keep the tick in a container and note the date and site of the tick bite.
This summer, download the free NWHUConnect Healthy Environments app!
You can find information on ticks, and even submit a photo of a suspicious tick found on a person.
A health inspector will identify the tick and respond with further instructions.
If it is identified as a tick species that is linked to carrying disease, the sample can be submitted and sent for further testing for our disease surveillance.
We cannot diagnose diseases and may recommend you see your healthcare provider.
The health unit continues to accept suspicious tick samples that are dropped off to be examined by a public health inspector, but have launched the app so people can save a trip in to our office.