University News for July 9, 2012
An entomologist with the University of Manitoba says the best way to avoid the infections that can be transmitted by the blacklegged tick is to avoid being bitten.
Establishment of the blacklegged tick or deer tick - the tick responsible for the transmission of the pathogens that cause Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and other infections - has been confirmed in southern Manitoba, possibly as far west as Killarney.
Dr. Kateryn Rochon, an assistant professor of entomology with the University of Manitoba, says avoiding the tick bite is the best way to make sure you aren't exposed to any pathogens they may carry.
Clip-Dr. Kateryn Rochon-University of Manitoba:
In areas where there's taller grass, there's shrubs, at the edge of forested areas you want to wear long pants and you want to tuck your pants into your socks and you want to tuck your shirt into your pants so that when the tick starts climbing on you, because ticks are in the grass.
They're not in trees, they do not jump from oak trees.
Ticks are on the ground at the tip of long blades of grass and so they brush against you and they start climbing up your legs.
If you make sure that everything is tucked in they will remain on the clothes as long as possible.
At that point you can see them before they attach.
If you wear light-colored clothing, you will be able to see them climb so then you can brush them off before they attach.
You want to wear tick repellent.
Certain insect repellents will be marked as effective against tick so you want to use that.
You can spay that on your pant leg, on your boots, on yourself.
Deet works very well against ticks so that's something that people can do.
Dr. Rochon says, if a tick does attach, the best way to remove it is with tweezers by pulling straight without twisting or jerking to avoid breaking off the head.
She notes the tick must be attached for about 24 hours before it will start to transmit pathogens so removing any attached ticks quickly will reduce any risks.
For UniversityNews.Org, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*University News is produced by Wonderworks Canada