It’s tick season!

Blacklegged Ticks. (Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / sarah2)

Here’s another sign the warm weather is here to stay, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has begun its tick surveillance program.

Staff will be combing public parks and trails used most frequently by residents. They’ll collect, identify, and test the ticks for Lyme Disease.

“Lyme disease is a serious disease that is spread by the bite of infected black-legged ticks,” said Acting Medical Officer of Health Doctor Shanker Nesathurai. “By taking simple precautions, residents can reduce their risk of being bitten by a tick.”

Those simple precautions include putting a tick collar on your pets, keeping the grass on your property short and avoiding tall grass, and wearing light-coloured clothing so you can easily spot ticks.

The health unit said it’s also a good idea to check yourself, children and pets for ticks after you’ve been outside, and shower within two hours of coming back inside.

If you find a tick on your body, remove it with a tick key or a pair of tweezers. Wash the bite with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.

Public health officials ask residents who find one to put it in a small container or plastic bag that can be sealed with a piece of paper towel. The health unit is collecting those for testing. A photograph of the tick can also be submitted to etick.ca for identification.