Region of Peel Sees Increase in Tick Submissions
BRAMPTON, ON (June 9, 2017) – The Region of Peel's tick surveillance program is seeing an increase in the number of tick submissions this season. The current number of ticks submitted by the public for testing has already surpassed last year's total.
Although the Region has already received a high volume of tick submissions, officials are encouraging residents to continue to submit ticks found on themselves to Peel Public Health for identification and testing throughout the summer.
"The help the public provides in sending us the ticks that they find is invaluable," says Paul Callanan Director, Health Protection. "With each sample, we identify the species of tick and send all black-legged ticks for testing to determine if they are carrying Lyme disease. To date, we have not identified an established black-legged tick population in Peel, but it is important to be cautious because birds and animals can transport them into the Region."
Residents can submit ticks to Peel Public Health for testing by:
- Putting the live tick in a small container with a tight fitting lid;
- Bringing the container to 7120 Hurontario St., Mississauga, from Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Results from these tests can take several months to become available. Ticks found on dogs will not be accepted for testing.
One explanation for the increase in tick submissions is the weather.
"We are seeing increased tick activity this year because of the combination of a mild winter with a very wet spring," says Dr. Monica Hau, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Region of Peel. "While the risk of coming into contact with a black-legged tick in Peel is currently low, Peel Public Health is encouraging everyone to protect themselves and their family from ticks."
High risk areas for ticks include wooded areas and places with leaf litter and long grass. If entering these areas, the public can protect themselves by:
- Applying insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin to skin and clothing
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts that fit tightly around the wrist and long-legged pants tucked into socks or shoes or boots.
- Wearing light-coloured clothing to make it easier to see if ticks land on clothing
- Checking regularly for ticks and removing attached ticks immediately
- Showering or bathing within two hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks
For more information about how to remove a tick or for symptoms of Lyme disease, visit peelregion.ca or call Region of Peel - Public Health at 905-799-7700 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Caledon residents can call toll free at 905-584-2216.
The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected community for life for more than 1.4 million people and approximately 143,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter at @regionofpeel.