Take note, tick season is upon us

The Interior Health Authority is warning outdoor enthusiasts that tick season has started

The Interior Health Authority warns that it’s that dreaded time of year again, it’s time to talk ticks

As the weather starts to warm up and the spring flowers bloom, people across the Interior Health region are spending more time outside which can result in an uptick in tick bites.

Ticks are small bugs, about the size of a sesame seed, which feed on the blood of humans and animals –and, sometimes, transmit diseases.

Ticks are prevalent throughout the B.C. Interior and are typically found in tall grass and wooded areas.

With that in mind, Interior Health has provided some information on ticks, as well as audio pieces from Leah Feist, Interior Health Communicable Disease Specialist. You can listen and read below.

Tick species and symptoms

Signs of many tick-borne infections can be quite similar and include fever, headache, muscle pain, and rash.

Wood Ticks (Dermacentor andersoni), the species most commonly found through the Interior Health region, do not carry the Lyme disease bacteria – they can carry other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, however.

Ixodes ticks (Ixodes pacificus or Ixodes angustus) are the species that transmit Lyme disease. They are more common throughout coastal B.C. but may be present in some Interior Health areas.

While less than one per cent of Ixodes in B.C. carry Lyme disease, it is important to recognize the symptoms. In addition to a fever, headache and muscle pain, people infected with Lyme disease will often develop a rash that looks like a “bull’s eye” target which expands from the site of the tick bite.

Lastly, some ticks have toxins that can cause temporary muscle weakness and paralysis if left attached for several days. Once the tick is removed, symptoms fade.

What to do

It is important to remove ticks found on people and pets.

To do so, wear gloves and use needle nose tweezers to gently grasp the tick close to the skin. Pull the tick straight out without squeezing it. After it is removed, clean the area with soap and water. If the tick is alive (live ticks can be tested for Lyme disease), you can save it in a sealed container with a cotton ball soaked in water. Record the date of the bite on the container. If you have concerns or need assistance removing a tick, please contact your doctor or visit a walk-in medical clinic.

Although most tick bites are harmless, it is important to watch for signs of illness and see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice a bull’s eye rash or other symptoms. If you saved the tick, bring it with you to your medical appointment.

Fortunately, a number of precautions can be taken to prevent tick bites and tick-related illnesses.

For example, you should:

  • Walk on cleared trails when in tall grass or wooded areas.
  • Cover up by wearing a hat, long sleeves, and pants.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing to help spot ticks easily.
  • Tuck pant legs into socks or boots.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET on uncovered skin.
  • Check clothing and scalp (covered or not) when leaving an area where ticks may live – ask someone to help check hard to reach areas.
  • Have a shower after returning from areas where ticks may live.
  • Regularly check household pets for ticks.

To help keep ticks away from your home and yard, you can:

  • Keep your lawn short and remove any fallen leaves and weeds.
  • Keep a buffer area such as wood-chip or gravel border between your lawn and wooded areas or stone walls. Any play equipment or play zones should be kept away from wooded areas.
  • Trim tree branches to allow more sunlight in your yard.
  • Keep wood piles and bird feeders away from the house.
  • Widen and maintain trails on your property.

For more information click the links below:

Related: Dr. Oz: Spring means ticks and issues for your pets

Related: 2017 Tick talk: They’re back so be careful

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Summerland ready for marijuana sales

Zoning allows retail sales in downtown and at shopping centre

Summerland trustee candidate promises committee on school closures

Dave Stathers says closure of one school would affect all within Summerland

Summerland housing issues raised at candidate forum

High housing costs, low vacancy rates and lack of affordable housing addressed

Don’t be dazed and confused about cannabis legalization

Sitting down with an Okanagan lawyer to clear the haze of marijuana rules

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

Your morning news in 90: Oct. 17, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

Man holds newborn son for first time after devastating B.C. racetrack crash

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

Shuswap pot shops close as cannabis becomes legal

One marijuana dispensary won’t require city approvals as on First Nations land

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Most Read