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

RCMP searching Penticton channel for ‘evidence’

RCMP divers are on scene at the Penticton channel, just past Green Avenue.

Okanagan Wildfires: Monday morning update on wildfires and evacuations

A Monday morning look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Nitty Gritty Dirt band returns to Penticton

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will perform at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Penticton Airport celebrates 76 years

Penticton Flying Club fills the field with aircraft of all description

Mt. Conkle wildfire near Summerland remains 118 hectares

This fire has several good water sources and has good road access.

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Sunken duck boat to be raised after deadly Missouri accident

17 people died over the weekend in a deadly boat incident

Man extradited to Canada in B.C. killing, following arrest in South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Canada beats Triple Crown for Canada Cup softball title

National team’s championship is first at B.C. tournament since 1996

Record high in Japan as heat wave grips the region

The temperature in a city north of Tokyo reached 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday, the highest ever recorded in Japan.

Feds looking at ways to tackle wave of gun violence in Toronto: Minister

Toronto mayor John Tory spoke to the press following a mass casualty event in Toronto.

Inquest set in death of RCMP’s spokesperson for Robert Dziekanski case

Former Mountie Pierre Lemaitre died of self-inflicted injuries in Abbotsford in 2013

Soaring temperatures, high winds could worsen fires in B.C.’s southern Interior

Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior does not inspire confidence, with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour.

Most Read