June 21st, 2014
Be on the lookout for ticks when at the Pinery this summer.
Lambton Public Health found more than 30 of the biting bothers during a tick drag in the provincial park in mid-May and more than half were the blacklegged (deer) variety that can carry Lyme-disease causing bacteria.
It’s the first time a tick drag — using a cloth off trails along bushes and grasses to try and pick up the seed-sized arachnids for testing — has proven successful in Lambton County, said Lori Lucas, health protection supervisor with Lambton Public Health.
Meanwhile people are also turning in the blacklegged buggers from other places around Lambton County too, she said, and at a higher clip than in previous years.
“We’re definitely seeing a lot more,” she said, noting almost 40% of the ticks found so far this year are blacklegged; the rest being the larger dog tick variety that isn’t known to transmit Lyme disease.
It’s a big increase, given in past years the number of blacklegged ticks was 2%-3% of the total number turned in, she said.
“We want residents to be aware and take precautions when they’re in and around any of those areas,” Lucas said.
One of the reasons for the first-ever successful tick drag is the timing this year, she said. In past years, when the public health agency has tried collecting ticks, officials have gone later in the season.
Mid-may though is ideal, Lucas said.