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Sask. residents encouraged to take precautions heading into tick season

Tick season has arrived
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As the weather gets warmer, the province is reminding people to take precautions to reduce their exposure to ticks.

"As we head outside to start enjoying the warmer weather, it is important to protect ourselves from the potential risk of tick bites," Medical Officer of Health Deputy Chief Dr. Julie Kryzanowski said in a news release from the province.

"By taking simple precautions, we can protect ourselves and our families when enjoying time outdoors.”

To prevent tick bites, the Ministry of Health recommends that people:

  • Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks can be easily seen
  • Wear pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that don’t expose bare feet
  • Pull their socks over their pant legs to prevent ticks from crawling up legs
  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin on clothes and skin
  • Shower or bathe as soon as possible after being outside

In Saskatchewan, the risk of exposure to Lyme disease is low, as most ticks found in the province are the American dog tick or wood tick, the release said. That species is active from mid-April to the end of July and doesn’t transmit the disease.

The presence of blacklegged ticks, which can cause Lyme disease, was discovered in Saskatchewan in 2023, but the province said there is no evidence of a reproducing blacklegged tick population at this time.

If a tick is found, it should be removed right away using fine-tipped tweezers. Once the tick has been removed, it is recommended that the area be washed with soap and water and then disinfected with rubbing alcohol or an iodine swab.

There is an online system that people can submit photographs to, to get identification of the type of tick they see. It is recommended that the tick is kept in a secure container and stored in the freezer while awaiting results, in case administrators request more information.

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