Photo by John Tann via Flickr

Local Tick Population On The Rise

Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but they’re increasing in numbers and the Middlesex London Health Unit wants you to be aware of them.

Jeremy Hogeveen, vector-borne disease co-ordinator for the Middlesex-London Health Unit, says the health unit wants residents to bring in any ticks they find.  He says you can find a tick just about anywhere, but the ones to be most concerned about, the black-legged ticks, mainly exist along the Lake Erie shoreline right now.

Hogeveen says you’re mostly likely to encounter the more benign deer tick or dog tick.  He says ticks can’t jump or run so they wait in tall grass for their next ride, after feeding on a deer, dog or other host.  He advises using the same approach to avoiding ticks as you would for keeping mosquitoes away, including wearing long sleeves and tucking pants into socks to prevent ticks from reaching bare skin.

If you find a tick, the health unit would like you to drop it off at their office at 50 King St. in London or 51 Front St. E in Strathroy.

Hogeveen says the turnaround for determining whether it’s a disease-carrying, or vector tick, is about two business days.