When the snow melts, ticks start to emerge in Manitoba. Ticks are little spider-like pests that attach to the skin and feed off blood. Ticks use leaf litter as a hiding spot, as the inner layers of leaf piles stay moist and provide the perfect habitat to thrive. Overgrown grass and dense brush also act as a safe space and as animals like deer, rabbits, and squirrels move through it, ticks attach to them and get transported to other areas. In Manitoba, the black-legged tick (also known as the Deer Tick) risk area extends across most of Southern Manitoba from the Ontario border to the Saskatchewan border, and from the US border to the north of Swan River.
While tick bites do not cause health issues on their own, certain species of ticks are known to transmit diseases, including Lyme disease. It’s important to always check your pets when they come in from the outdoors and remove any ticks as soon as possible to prevent the transmission of disease, as it often takes 36 to 48 hours for the Lime disease bacterium to be transferred. Tick “hot spots” include in your pet’s armpits, as well as in and around the ears.
If a tick is attached to your pet’s skin, it can be safely removed by the following steps: