Tick season has been bad this year in Saskatchewan. Normally around July we see populations decline with the heat, but this year due to the cooler June and ample moisture it appears ticks will continue to be an issue through the summer.  While for the majority of tick bites in Saskatchewan will be nothing to worry about they do carry a risk of infection and tick born illness such as Lyme Disease. Saskatchewan only has a small population of the black legged deer tick that is known to carry Lyme disease.

There are around 40 species of ticks in Canada. Most common species are Winter Ticks which are a huge pest to our moose population, Wood Ticks, American Dog Ticks and Black Legged Ticks. It can often be hard to identify a tick but an app called eTick is a handy way to have your tick identified. It also tracks tick types and locations on a map for Canada.

Wood ticks are know to carry bacterial pathogens that can cause health issues. Black legged ticks are known to carry Lyme disease. If you are concerned about a tick you removed, seal in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer so it can be tested if any issues arise after a bite.

Dr. Torr with Saskatchewan Health authority said they have had a lot of reports of ticks. "We are not seeing much of disease carrying ticks" With only a couple instances of the black legged tick in the province and those cases were associated with travel outside the province. Dr. Torr also mentions that deet is one of our best protection against tick bites. For young children make sure your using the correct child friendly deet as it can be absorbed through the skin and make small children ill in high doses.

Some other things to stay safe from tick bites is to check yourself after being near tall grass or woods and have shower when you get home and wash your cloths in hot water.  Wear long pants, and socks pulled over the pant leg. Light clothing is less appealing to ticks. 

Its also important to be diligent in checking your pets.