Spike in tick sightings in certain parts of Winnipeg: entomologist
WINNIPEG -- As the summer season begins, Manitobans are being warned about the dangers of ticks.
According to entomologist Taz Stuart, more ticks are being spotted in parts of Winnipeg.
“For us personally, we deal with people’s backyards and we’re seeing increased numbers in certain areas of the city,” Stuart says.
“So when people go out, it’s important to be protecting yourself.”
Manitoba has been seeing an increase in tick-borne diseases over the past few years, with cases of Lyme disease more than doubling over five years.
Stuart notes Manitobans are at risk of being bitten by a tick right across southern Manitoba.
“When I first moved here in 2004, black-legged were in the southeast corner of Manitoba,” Stuart says.
“If you go online, you can see the spread of black-legged ticks across southern Manitoba and even into northern Manitoba.”
The province says that the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick, is one of the ticks responsible for spreading tick-borne diseases.
Stuart notes that Manitobans need to be checking themselves for ticks, and getting the proper testing if they do find one.
“You don’t want to get Lyme disease or any tick-borne disease,” Stuart says.
Anyone who spots or is bitten by a tick in Manitoba can use the eTick program, which provides people with quick and accurate access to tick identification.
To use the program, Manitobans can upload a picture of the tick online or through an app, and then answer a few questions about where and when they found the tick. From there, a provincial expert will identify the species of the tick and email the person to let them know if there is any medical relevance to the species and what they should do next.
Stuart says some ways people can lessen their risk is by wearing light-coloured clothing and using a repellant.
Stuarts adds that if someone goes for a walk or hike or spends time outside, they should keep off grassy areas or places where there is a tree line or edge.
- With files from CTV’s Maralee Caruso.