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Toronto Star: Pet owners help university track ticks through new online tool

Pathobiology professor Scott Weese, who developed the Tick Tracker, says the data could serve as an “early warning system.”

By Isabel Teotonio August 7th, 2017

When Ellen Holmes takes her two cocker spaniels for a walk on her 40-hectare property — a pooch paradise made up of ponds, trails and thick brush — they always return home with unwelcome guests: ticks.

“This year has just been horrendous,” says Holmes of St. Anns, nestled in the Niagara Region. “This is most definitely the worst year so far.”

About eight years ago she spotted her first tick, the only one she saw all year. Now she finds two or three a day on her dogs, Felix and Oscar. Earlier this season Holmes found 29 while cleaning their beds — most were dead because of the tick-killing drug they’re on. But four were alive.

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