What’s causing the increased risk of lyme disease in Canada?
Lyme disease is spread to humans and animals through infected black legged ticks. These ticks thrive in the heat of the spring, summer and early fall. As the average temperatures increase across Canada, so do the black legged tick population. This means an increase in the chances of being bitten by a tick carrying lyme disease.
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Did you know: Pets, particularly dogs, can get Lyme disease, but there is no evidence that they can spread the infection to humans. However they can carry infected ticks into your yard or home.
The best way to protect against Lyme disease is by preventing tick bites. Here are a few suggestions:
- wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants
- pull socks over pant legs
- wear light-coloured clothes to spot ticks easier
- use insect repellent containing DEET (active ingredient to keep bugs away) or
Icaridin (always follow directions)
- shower or bathe within 2 hours of being outdoors to wash away loose ticks
- do a daily “full-body” check for ticks on yourself, children and pets
Although DEET, and other chemical-laden products, are suggested we’ve come up with a couple more natural suggestions as well. Here are some products you can try that will repel ticks, they’re safe for pets as well.
- Citrus Repellent: Mix orange, lime and lemon essential oils with water and spray onto skin and clothes using a spray bottle
- Other Essential Oils: Rosemary, geranium, basil, cedar, cinnamon, lemon, lavender, and pennyroyal are all effective at repelling ticks as well. Choose three and mix with water or a carrier oil (such as almond oil) and apply to skin and clothes