With bug season on its way, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Health Unit is making sure people know what to look for.
To prevent the pest from biting, the health unit says it is good to wear closed toed shoes, wear long sleeves and pants, tuck your pants into your socks, use bug spray with DEET in it and wear light colours to spot the poppy seed-sized bug easier. Another preventative suggestion is if you are going for walks or hikes, try to stay on marked trails.
When you finished your walk, it is recommended that you check yourself, your children, and your pets to make sure the bug has not tagged alone. After that, it is good practice to shower as soon as possible to wash the bugs away and put your clothes in the dryer for a minimum of 10 minutes on high heat.
To protect your property, cut the grass short and trim bushes and hedges to let in as much sunlight as possible.
If a tick does bite you or your loved ones, the health unit emphasizes that it should be removed as soon as possible to prevent infections, and reduce the risk of contracting Lyme. To get the tick off, use sterile fined tipped tweezers, grab the grab as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out. Afterwards, it is encouraged to wash the bite with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
After the tick is removed, the health unit suggests recording the date that you were bitten and put the tick in a jar or bottle and bring it to the health unit for them to study it.
Generally speaking, people should be getting medical attention if the tick has been attached for more than 24 hours, if the bitten area is swollen or engorged, or if you are displaying the symptoms of Lyme Disease.
More information can be found at your local health unit.
Written by Phil McCabe