Tick concerns mount in the Maritimes
HALIFAX -- Mount Allison University Professor Vett Lloyd has alarming news for people living in Nova Scotia.
“Nova Scotia is the leader across Canada for ticks,” said Lloyd.
Which means there are more ticks per people living in Nova Scotia compared to anywhere else in Canada. Southern Ontario comes in second.
“In Nova Scotia you have two tick species that are really keen on humans,” said Lloyd. “One is the Dog Tick. Very soon the Black Legged tick, which is the Lyme disease tick, will come out.”
Lloyd said Black Legged and Dog Ticks also exist in parts of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Runner David Ward was mindful of tick exposure when he entered Point Pleasant Park in Halifax.
“I definitely thought about it today,” said Ward. “But coming here I’m not running through the brush.”
Instead, Ward typically sticks to the main pathways when he runs.
“I think they mostly sit on trees and stuff waiting for animals to brush up against them,” said Ward, who always checks his body for ticks at the end of each day. “I will when I go home yes.”
Donna Lugar works to increase awareness related to the issues of ticks and the diseases they carry. For Lugar, it is a personal matter. Lugar had a Lyme and tick-borne diseases diagnosis 10 years ago.
“Those first days I was bedbound in the dark, couldn’t handle any light,” said Lugar.
According to Lugar, prevention of a tick bite is crucially important.
“There are a number of different sprays you can use,” said Lugar, who added there are bug-repellant treated clothing materials that help ward off ticks.
Lloyd said if a person were to discover a tick on their body, if they can, they should keep it to check if it is carrying any diseases.
“Sometimes you can get your check tested through public health,” said Lloyd. “Some people are using private testing.”
Vett Lloyd also said tick concerns are greater this spring compared to previous years.
“This is the peak of the tick season,” said Lloyd. “Because we had such a mild winter.”
Ticks were able to survive the winter and there is evidence the tick population has increased.