With the warm weather, all kinds of critters are coming out to explore the world, and while we’re happy to see the bees and hear the birds singing, there’s one little creature we’re less happy to see: ticks.
There are a few different kinds of ticks in New Brunswick, but the one to watch out for is the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick. Blacklegged ticks are common in NB, and can carry Borrelia—the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease—meaning, if you are bit by an infected tick, there’s a chance you could be exposed. Tick season in NB runs from April to November, and are typically found in areas that have long grass, brush, or are wooded. Be sure to wear full-coverage clothing and bug repellent if you’re planning to be out in fields, in the woods, or on trails to prevent exposure. When you come home, check your clothes, yourself, and your pets for any hitchhikers, especially in creases like behind the ears, in armpits, between the legs, and behind the knees, as well as in and around hair.
If you do find a tick, don’t panic! Remove the tick safely and completely, with pointed tweezers, a tick removal kit, or the “straw and string” method (for more information. After that, reach out to your local health authority or https://www.etick.ca/ for testing. With Etick.ca, you can take a photo and upload it to be connected with an expert who will work with you to identify the tick, any possible health risks, and provide guidance on next steps. This is a great resource that provides the public with accessible tick information and assistance, and uses the data submitted to better predict tick numbers and movement.