REGINA -- Saskatchewan residents are being reminded to be aware of ticks as the seasons change and the cool weather begins to settle in.

The Ministry of Health says to watch for ticks on yourself and on pets through the fall season.

“Blacklegged ticks, which can cause Lyme disease, are rare in Saskatchewan,” the province said in a news release. “Introduced by migratory birds in early spring, blacklegged ticks mature into adults and remain active throughout fall, particularly in tall grass, brush or wooded areas.”

Residents are encouraged to submit photos of ticks found of humans or animals to the University of Saskatchewan’s tick identification program, eTick. This program collected 3,022 submissions between April and July.

“Data received through the eTick platform will allow us to monitor the distribution and level of establishment of ticks, specifically blacklegged tick populations, and assist in monitoring the risk of Lyme disease across the province,” Consulting Medical Health Officer Dr. Denise Werker said.  “While the risk of Lyme disease is low in Saskatchewan, it is still important for people to take precautions against ticks.”

The province advises the following measures to keep ticks away:

  • Wear clothes and shoes that cover the skin
  • Pull socks over pant legs
  • Wear light coloured clothing so ticks can be easily seen
  • Use bug spray that contains DEET or Icaridin
  • Bathe as soon as possible after being outside
  • Check yourself and your pet for ticks

The province said that most ticks found in Saskatchewan are American Dog Ticks, which do not carry Lyme disease.