Flamborough residents should take precautions when visiting wooded areas this summer, or even areas with tall grasses and bushes (including gardens and parks). Lyme disease is an important issue in our area as much of our City (and much of Southern and Southeastern Ontario) are now considered an estimated risk area for Lyme disease. An estimated risk area means the area is known to have blacklegged ticks and humans have the potential to come in contact with ticks that are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Hamilton Public Health works very closely with Public Health Ontario, Public Health Agency of Canada and many experts in the field to ensure that science and research are incorporated into best practices which are based on sound scientific findings.
- Cover up as much as possible: wear closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts, long pants tucked into your socks
- Light-coloured clothing is best to wear so it’s easier to see ticks
- Use an insect repellent, or bug spray, that says “DEET” or “icaridin” on it. Always read the label for directions on how to use it
- After being outdoors, check and re-check for ticks on yourself, your children and pets (use the WHAT acronym: Waist, Hairline, Armpits, Toes)
- Shower or bathe within two hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks
- After outdoor activity, put clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill any ticks.
If a tick is found on a body, it should be removed with tweezers by firmly gripping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight up – slowly and gently. For tips on how to remove a tick, please click here.
Knowing the type of tick found on the body can help to assess the risk, in our area only blacklegged ticks are able to transmit Lyme disease. You can learn more about how to identify ticks by clicking here . You can also submit a tick by dropping of the tick in a container to any of our municipal service centres (except City Hall). Alternatively, you can take a photo of the tick and submit it to www.etick.ca for identification.