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

Michelle Mungall on maternity leave

The Nelson-Creston MLA will return by the end of September

Starbelly Jam hits the stage this weekend

The annual festival runs Friday to Sunday in Crawford Bay

COLUMN: What it took for Nelson to win gold

Former Nelson Star editor Bob Hall reflects on a local soccer achievement

Nelson Star wins three national awards

One photo, one news story, and an editorial impressed judges at Canadian Community Newspaper Awards

West Kootenay Community Teeth Clinic Society in need of dentists

The society works with clinics to offer affordable care

VIDEO: Endurance cyclists ride West Kootenay trails

The TransBC Enduro swung through Rossland, Castlegar and Nelson

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read