What are ticks?
Ticks are relatives of spiders, mites and scorpions! They survive by feeding on the blood of animals and humans. There are several different types of ticks, we are particularly interested in blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks) as they are known to transmit diseases in particular Lyme Disease.
Why do we care about ticks?
Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease caused by a bacteria transmitted to humans by the blacklegged tick during a tick bite (if the tick is infected with the bacteria). Lyme Disease can have debilitating effects on humans and pets. Blacklegged ticks and instances of Lyme Disease are increasing in the Ottawa-area.
There are many things we can do to stay safe!
1) CHECK FOR TICKS. We improved and increased our handwashing during Covid, now let’s do the same for tick checks! After being outdoors, check yourself, your pets and your loved ones for ticks.
2) USE “BUG SPRAY”. Whether it is chemical or plant-based repellents, consider applying bug spray before going outdoors!
3) PERMETHRIN CLOTHING. Consider wearing permethrin-treated long sleeve shirts and pants when going outdoors.
4) LEAVE DEER IN THE WOODS. Deer not only feed ticks, they also transport them and their hatchlings to new destinations! For those property owners abutting parks, reconsider feeding or attracting deer to your yard!
Uptick Project in Blackburn
University of Ottawa researchers, led by Dr. Manisha Kulkarni, are conducting the UPTick project on ticks and Lyme disease in several Ottawa neighbourhoods. The project aims to assess the impacts of urban landscapes on tick populations and tick-borne disease transmission.
The team held virtual presentation on February 1st, 2023 to share information about this project and other tick-related research studies they are conducting in Ottawa. For those of you that missed the presentation, a recording is now available online at https://www.manishakulkarni.com/
Interested in getting involved? Let us know and email firstname.lastname@example.org.