Ticks are a type of arachnid that feed on blood. They do not move quickly or jump, so they won’t jump out of trees or bushes. The primary way in which they are transferred is by being brushed up against. Ticks will latch to skin, clothing, or fur and then move to an area where they can attach themselves and begin feeding. It is only when ticks are actively feeding that they can spread the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Ticks can typically be found near sandy soil, wooded or bushy areas, rivers, and areas where deer may live.
To remove a tick that has attached itself, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick's head as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull straight out. If there are any parts of the tick that remains attached to the skin, remove them with tweezers as well. Wash the area with soap and water or rub the area with hand sanitizer. Typically, removing the tick within 24-36 hours will reduce the risk of infection.
Lyme disease is a serious infectious disease caused by bacteria that is spread by ticks. If you think you have been bitten by a tick and are concerned, contact your healthcare provider. If possible, keep the tick to help with identification.
Early symptoms of Lyme Disease include the following:
- A red "bull's-eye" rash
- Flu-like symptoms (headache, soreness, fever, discomfort)
For more information about how to prevent tick bites and lyme disease and identifying a tick, visit the Public Health of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Tick & Lyme Disease page.